Boss Mark Fell believes a victory at Witton Albion this weekend will be a massive boost to Lancaster City’s survival chances.
The Dolly Blues travel to Wincham Park looking to get the better of a team who are currently below them in the NPL Premier Division table.
However, City are only three points clear of third-bottom Albion, who have a sizeable five games in hand.
But Fell believes a win will provide his team with plenty of breathing space as they continue to haul themselves away from the bottom reaches of the division.
“Saturday’s game is an important one,” said Fell.
“If we can get a win over Witton Albion then that will put us six points clear and then the games in hand become less important because we will have the points on the board.
“They are down there and have not had a great start to the season, but they still have some good players.
“We know what they’re all about and it is a tough place to go. But we go there with plenty of optimism.
“We have won every away game in the league since we have been at the club.
“So we will go there with confidence and let’s see if we can get another win.
“The pitch there will be good and will allow us to play our football.”
The Dollies switch their focus back to league matters after being involved in two cup competitions over the past week.
On Saturday they defeated Marine 2-0 at Rossett Park in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy. Then a quirk of the fixture list saw them back at the Mariners’ home on Tuesday – a much-changed Dolly Blues line-up was beaten 2-0 in the second round of the NPL League Cup.
Fell admitted that although he would have liked to have won both games – he definitely prioritised the Trophy clash.
The club’s reward for beating Marine on Saturday was prizemoney of £3,500 and a date with Ossett United at Giant Axe on Saturday week.
He used the League Cup clash as an opportunity to take a look at some of the younger players in his squad as well as giving a debut to new signing Reece Webb-Foster.
The striker signed on the dotted line for the Dolly Blues on the eve of the match and arrives at the club with signifcant pedigree.
A graduate of Bradford City’s academy, the 20-year-old made two League One appearances for the Bantams – the first of which came as a 16-year-old in 2014.
He has since had loan spells with clubs such as Guiseley, Harrogate Town and Bradford Park Avenue at National League level, but found himself playing for Colne in the NPL First Division West this season.
Fell is hoping to reignite the youngster’s career, which could, in turn, help out L ancaster.
“He is someone we have kept tabs on,” said Fell. “You can’t be too bad a player if you’ve played a couple of games in League One.
“He had a great start at Colne this season, but I don’t know what’s gone on whether there has been a bit of falling out there.
“We took the opportunity to bring them in to the club.
“He hasn’t played for a month so we need to get him sharper. It was important for him to get 90 minutes under his belt on Tuesday night.
“He fits the mould of sort of player we want at Lancaster City.
“He works hard, he’s got dynamism, likes to get shots off in and around the box. If we can provide a platform for him going back up the football pyramid then that’s what we try to do and at the same time he can do job for us here at Lancaster City.”
Fell also revealed that he has extended the loan spell of goalkeeper Ben Sims, who is on loan from Blackpool.
Veteran defender Rob Henry has returned to Giant Axe on the coaching staff, but will also be registered as a player.
In terms of his squad this weekend, Fell is likely to revert to the side which defeated Marine for this weekend’s fixture at Witton.
He will be without striker Tom Kilifin, who unfortunately has work commitments.
Paul Jarvis is edging closer to fitness following a toe injury, although this weekend’s game has come a little too soon.