Victory over play-off chasing Grantham Town at Giant Axe showed Dolly Blues at their best

Lancaster City manager Phil Brown. Picture: Tony North.
Lancaster City manager Phil Brown. Picture: Tony North.

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown hailed his team’s performance on Tuesday night as the ‘best they have produced in a while’.

The Dolly Blues defeated promotion hopefuls Grantham Town 3-1 in what was a fine all-round performance at Giant Axe.

It was only their seventh win since the end of December in what has been a tough spell for City, who were promoted into the NPL Premier Division as champions last season.

While acknowledging the difficult past few months, Brown revealed he has not panicked for one moment.

He believes his team’s performances have been generally good, but they benefited from having more of an edge in their play against Grantham.

The seeds of Tuesday night’s win were sown last week during a team meeting, which led to a spirited display at home to runaway leaders Altrincham on Saturday.

Although that match ended in a 2-1 defeat for City, Brown admits he has been encouraged by what he’s seen over the past week.

“Our performance on Tuesday night was the best we have produced in a while,” said Brown.

“But it was a performance which we knew was in there.

“That’s why we have not been panicking.

“Even though results have not been brilliant, we always knew that we could put that kind of performance together.

“The performances recently have been okay – we have not been miles off, although don’t get me wrong, we’ve not been brilliant.

“Sometimes playing okay, you might get a bit of luck, but unfortunately wehave not been getting any luck and okay has not been good enough so we have ended up with a point here and the odd win there.

“But against Grantham, we started well, sustained our performance and maintained it right the way through the game.

“Unlike in previous games, we scored a goal in our good spell and when they had their good spell, we were resilient and we defended well.

“The message before the game was basically to carry on what we have been doing but add a bit of an edge to our performance.

“That’s what we did. We looked like the team in the play-offs and were better than what Grantham were.

“Against Altrincham, we were disappointed to go 2-1 behind, but we reacted and we had a go.

“Altricham are a good side, they are the leaders. They had the lion’s share of possession, but we kept them at bay and were right in the game until the final kick.”

This weekend, City have another tough proposition when they travel to Shaw Lane, who are fighting for a play-off place.

“We were the first team to beat Shaw Lane earlier this season,” said Brown.

“They knocked us out of the FA Cup albeit in a very tight game so we know what they are about.

“We have been over to their place before so we know what to expect.

“The pitch there is difficult but they are a powerul team, who are fighting themselves to get in the play-offs.

“But if we get anywhere near to the level of performance that we reached against Grantham, then we’ll be a tough test for them.”