Curzon Ashton 0-1 Lancaster City

LANCASTER CITY gave themselves the perfect tonic to their difficult week with a morale-boosting victory over Curzon Ashton.

It was a terrific defensive display from the Dolly Blues with Neil Marshall binding together a youthful back four.

Sam Wilson and Alex Kenyon were both brilliant on the left hand side, Wilson belying his 18 years with an organising shift to match any that Teague put in this year.

The first half, indeed most of the game, was a tale of half-chances and exchanging possession between the boxes.

Only one shot was registered on goal in the first 45, which came for the home side after centre-half Paul Booth hung around the box following a corner that wasn’t sufficiently cleared and hit a tame volley low towards the near post which Martin Fearon saved with ease.

City held Curzon at bay efficiently and whipped back on the counter through the pace of Billy McKenna, at times he just needed to apply the brakes and use the ball the one decent chance he created came after he powered forward from his own half and shot wide.

Adam Farrell then had a similarly decent effort after Max Rothwell had brought the ball forward and played in Mike Rushton who in turn found the striker inn space on the let-wing; his shot curled harmlessly wide.

If City were affected by their unusual lack of chances they did not show it and they continued their defensive dominance throughout the second period.

Kenyon barely missed a header in a fairly persistent aerial onslaught while his fellow full-back Rob Henry had the dangerous Phil Edghill in his pocket.

The difference came off the bench and with a reshuffle of the pack.

On came Dave Swarbrick, Danny Hattersley and Sam Nightingale, the pace and height that they brought was a downright pest for the Curzon back-four and as Farrell dropped back into central-midfield he wasn’t picked up and instantly made an impact.

His through ball to pick out Swarbrick was perfectly weighted and the nippy striker felt he should have done better as he dragged it across the goal, it was the constant pressure and territory that did the trick though as the decisive goal was soon to follow.

The strike was a pearl from Farrell and the build-up swift.

Hattersley played a ball across the box just behind him and he swivelled to wrap his foot around it and send it into the bottom corner.

They held on quite comfortably, facing only some rather tame efforts from Chris McDonagh two headers straight down Fearon’s throat and a shot from range that the sparkling ‘keeper made to look far more difficult than it was.

The average age of his squad was never exactly ancient with Teague and Jarvis on board and they will lose some games this season as they learn their trade; however they have the talent and confidence to keep themselves in with a shout of the playoffs.

Curzon Ashton: Carnel, Halligan, Mortimer, Booth, Jones, Ogoo, Cahill (Edghill 56), Birch, McDonagh, Broadbent, Barlow ( Purcell 60)

Subs not used: Young, Lyons

Lancaster City: Fearon 7, Henry 8, Kenyon 8, Wilson R 7, Marshall 7, Wilson S 8, Rushton 7 (Swarbrick 56), Roberts 6 (Hattersley 60), Farrell 7, Rothwell 7, McKenna 7 (Nightingale 60)

Subs not used: Gregson, Ward

Attendance: 136

Referee: Luke Watson

STARMAN Alex Kenyon Great in the air and used the ball well