QUITE simply, Lancaster City lost the battle at Giant Axe on Tuesday as the elements and a stiff Bamber Bridge resistance cost them the win.
Inspired by a dominant defensive display from centre-back Matt Lawlor, Bamber Bridge dealt with everything the Dolly Blues threw at them – admittedly that wasn’t a great deal – and nicked a goal to boot.
It did not come until late on, a tap-in from Darren Green on 68 minutes, and the referee played an unwelcome part in the build-up.
A deep free-kick was taken poorly by the visitors only for the man in black, Barry Cropp, to order it to be retaken.
He appeared to start a discussion with a City defender after it was taken and therefore missed the action.
The second free-kick was slightly more accurate but not dealt with by the Dolly Blues, it found its way out to Alistair Waddecar, whose in-swinging cross was brilliant and found Green in space to score.
The chances on goal were few and far between over 90 minutes, City however had the best two in a dominant opening 15 minutes, and if only they had taken advantage we could have had a different game on our hands.
As it was, Dave Swarbrick, who struggled to find his feet in the tricky conditions, hit the post from a Danny Hattersley cross and then leapt to head the rebound wide.
In the best move of the game – as it came on 20 minutes it shows the level of play the weather and pitch allowed – Max Rothwell picked up a throw-in on the left, moved across the box and fed Rob Henry in space.
Rothwell continued his run into the box and Henry’s first-time, side-footed cross met his head, and unfortunately it dropped comfortably into Lee Dovey’s hands in the Brig net.
The second 45 saw City play with the wind – when Brig had it in the first half they bombarded the Dolly Blue box with crosses and set-pieces that they did well to defend – but came up against a resolute visiting defence and also struggled to find their passing radar, hitting balls too short or long far too frequently.
The Dolly Blues gave it one hell of a go in the last 20 minutes and kept up the pressure on the Brig goal but could not find that killer ball from consecutive corners or that telling pass to make a difference.
Before kick-off Giant Axe observed a minute’s silence for local sportsman and businessman Geoff Beard, who sadly passed away recently.
Geoff played for and managed local football sides including Trimpell FC.
Lancaster City chairman Mick Hoyle and all the City directors would like to send their condolences to his wife Alison and family at this sad time.
Lancaster City: Fearon 6, Henry 6, Elderton 6, Gregson 6, Marshall 6, Kenyon 6, Clark 6, Wills 6, Swarbrick 7, Hattersley 6 (Bunney 77), Rothwell 6 (Dodgson 56)
Subs not used: Egerton-Wilson, Hall, Meaney
Bamber Bridge: Dovey, Lakeland, Atherton, Lawlor, Mahoney, Waddecar, Reynolds, Salmon, Green (Bonamino 90), Marlow (Bowyer 56)
Referee: Barry Cropp
Starman: Dave Swarbrick - If only he’d grabbed his goal, looked dangerous in the opening twenty minutes