FA Cup win can kickstart season

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Lancaster City are aiming to put a stuttering start to the season behind them in the FA Cup this Saturday.

The Dolly Blues visit North West Counties side Ashton Athletic in the preliminary round of the world’s top knockout competition having picked up just one point from their opening two league games against promotion contenders Farsley and Skelmersdale United.

City drew 1-1 with the former in their season opener at Giant Axe on Saturday before losing 3-1 at Skem on Tuesday night.

Caretaker boss Mick Hoyle said: “It’s always nice to get through a few rounds of the FA Cup because there are financial benefits.

“But it would be nice to get our season up and running with a win. We’ve got reports on Ashton and will work on a few things in training tonight (Thursday).”

Hoyle admitted that there would likely be a change in formation on Saturday having experimented with a lone striker in the opening two games of the season.

He said: “We played 4-4-2 all pre-season but with the Jordan Connerton and Mark Jackson issues not working out how we hoped we ended up playing Joe Bunney as a lone striker but have isolated him a little.

“Having said that we have played some nice football and created some chances, especially against Farsley, a game we should have won.

“There’s no panic but we tried it and it hasn’t worked so it’s looking like we’re going to change the system on Saturday and revert back to plan one.”

It will be a busy weekend for City who host Bamber Bridge on Bank Holiday Monday unless they have a cup replay to play.

“It’s been a disappointing start in the league but the players know what we expect of them and are disappointed too,” said Hoyle.

“But we don’t want to be loitering around the bottom of the table, we want to get into mid-table and push on from there.”

Midfielders Rob Wilson and Simon Wills picked up knocks in Tuesday night’s defeat but are expected to be available on Saturday.nThe Dolly Blues will host a charity five-a-side tournament at Giant Axe on Sunday, September 2 from 9am.

The family fun day is in aid of the O2 Think Big Charity and includes a car boot sale and bouncy castles.To enter a team or for more information, call Lancaster store manager Darren Holroyd on 07540 717733 or email darren.holroyd@O2.com.