Lancaster City are underdogs for Trophy tie against Liversedge - despite being the higher ranked club

Lancaster City will be the underdogs in the FA Trophy second round proper this weekend despite the fact that they are a division above Liversedge.

By Craig Salmon
Thursday, 25th November 2021, 8:00 am

The Dolly Blues travel to West Yorkshire to take on Sedge, who play in the NPL East Division.

They are currently going great guns this season and are second in the table – level on points with leaders Marske United – after an unbeaten start to their campaign.

Ominously for City, they have won all six of their league games at home and, in previous rounds in the Trophy, have eliminated both Scarborough Athletic and Basford United of the NPL Premier Division.

Lewis Fensome, left, is congratulated by Andy Teague and Christian Sloan after hitting the winning goal against Buxton on Saturday (photo: Tony North)

“We are the underdogs I think,” said boss Mark Fell. “The betting says we are not expected to go there and win.

“The fact that they have seen off both Basford and Scarborough, who are both from our division, tells you something. They are another club who are looking to bounce through the leagues.

“They have got lots of resource and are a big, strong, powerful side – we have had them watched.

“I think it’s going to be a good game. There will be a big crowd there and we are really looking forward to it. We know that the reward off the back of this is getting in the third round proper of the competition and we could be drawing a club like Notts County, Wrexham or York City.

“These are massive clubs and I know we have got a great support travelling to the game, so we will be going there to win but we know it’s going to be tough.”

Fell will be in the dug-out after missing last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Buxton at Giant Axe after testing positive for Covid-19.

He has been isolating with two of his daughters who have also tested positive for the virus but his isolation period ends today.

His assistant Graham Lancashire was in charge for the 90 minutes last Saturday and Fell insists the win over the previously unbeaten Buxton will work wonders for his men’s confidence.

Having watched the match back on video, Fell said: “I was really pleased with the result and the performance.

“We have won four out of five now, beaten Buxton who had not lost this season – so all this talk of a crisis – we are building something.

“I know I have said this on a number of occasions but there have not been too many games where we have played badly this season,” he said. “We have been on the wrong side of the margins – injuries and misfortune have played their part.

“I felt Saturday’s game was bit of how we were two years ago when we were up in second place at Christmas.

“Other than the first 15 minutes when Buxton were on top, after we scored we were the better team.

“We held them at arm’s length and that was the key.

“They have got some fabulous players but we managed them really well.

“I go back a long way with their manager Steve Cunningham and he messaged me to say our lads were a credit.”

“I think it’s a reminder that we can compete in this league. I have spoken to the lads on Tuesday and one win now would put us seventh.

“Our target is be in and around the play-offs at Christmas.”

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