Lancaster City boss Mark Fell's frustration over final postponement

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Mark Fell was so disappointed to see Lancaster City’s LFA Challenge Trophy final fall foul of the weather in midweek.

The Dolly Blues were due to meet Prestwich Heys at Leyland’s County Ground on Tuesday night but heavy rain left the pitch unplayable.

It had already been delayed from last season by the Covid-19 pandemic and now the sides face another wait to see when the final can be fitted into a busy fixture programme.

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Rather than arrange a training session on the night they were supposed to play the final, City boss Fell gave his players the evening off in recognition of a welcome 2-1 win over Warrington Town last weekend.

Scorer David Norris in action against Warrington Town (photo: Tony North)Scorer David Norris in action against Warrington Town (photo: Tony North)
Scorer David Norris in action against Warrington Town (photo: Tony North)

Warrington again provide the opposition on Saturday, this time away and in the FA Trophy.

“I was really disappointed with the final being called off, we’d waited so long to play it,” said Fell. “The difficulty will be in fitting it in now because we are Saturday-Tuesday almost through to Christmas.

“Leyland staged three or four cup finals over the weekend, which perhaps had an affect on the pitch.

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“We would have been happy to stage the final at Giant Axe or we would happily have gone to Prestwich.

“Normally this final is played at a Football League ground – we understand why it wasn’t this year but it is all a bit frustrating.”

Fell has now sharpened his focus on the second meeting in a week with Warrington.

There is the incentive of prize money from the game, with £2,000 on offer to the winners of the third qualifying round tie.

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In the current financial climate caused Covid, any extra cash would be gratefully received.

Said Fell: “It would be great to put something back into the club’s coffers. I think we get about £2,000 if we win.

“Prize money has been cut for non-league clubs this year which is a shame but we’ll take anything we can get.

“We got a great win against Warrington last week and one we deserved.

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“They could well be much different at home and we could be different away.

“We are looking forward to the game, we’ve got Paul Dawson back but Andy Teague is still suspended.”

Goals from David Norris and Jacob Holland-Wilkinson gave Lancaster their win over Warrington last week.

Holland-Wilkinson is on loan from Preston North End and the second-year scholar has impressed Fell with his displays and attitude since arriving at Giant Axe.

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Fell said: “Jacob has done well, he’s a very young lad and it is unusual that we take scholars because they aren’t quite there physically.

“We usually go down the route of taking first-year pros, like we did with Jack Armer for example.

“I was at Preston for six or seven years so I know some of the people there.

“Nick Harrison and Andy Fensome told me that Jacob wasn’t far off.

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“We’d watched him at Kendal where he had a short loan spell and he did well, so we decided to take a look at him.

“He’s done fantastically – he changed the game for us when he came on against Warrington, setting one up and scoring one.

“Our job is to give that exposure to first-team football. He gives is a bit more of a dynamic, he’s quite pacey and quite direct.

“As a team we are in a good spell of form, that’s another big frustration about the final being postponed.

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“It was all about getting our first league win under our belts which we did the other week at Grantham.

“We’ve since drawn with FC United and beaten Warrington.”

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