THE DOLLY BLUES played out only their second draw of their league campaign on Tuesday night with a tough, scoreless battle against Leigh Genesis.
On a sloping, bobbly pitch and under somewhat dubious floodlights at the home of Atherton Laburnum Rovers, there was little in the way of flowing football from either side.
In the best move of the match the Dolly Blues recorded their best and only decent chance, it came on 58 minutes, Mike Rushton struck the bar and Michael Hall volleyed the rebound over.
Rushton toed the ball one way past his full back and ran the other into the box, his shot was always rising after it inevitably took a bobble, and Phil Priestley in the Leigh net may have got fingertips to it to send it onto the bar and out.
It was a sharp chance for Hall above his hip and he couldn’t get over it to hit the target.
In a poor first-half there was a half-chance apiece. Steve Smith slipped behind Jack Duggan and into space on the left hand side but could only curl a tame shot straight at Martin Fearon.
At the other end and down an undulating slope Duggan rose well to head a Dave Swarbrick corner straight down Priestley’s throat.
The rare goalless score-line, City last played out a similar draw last April against Curzon Ashton, was kept shiny and clean by the impeccable Martin Fearon and the backside of Neil Marshall.
Connor Millington got space for the home side and advanced on the box before unleashing a shot unerringly towards the top corner, Fearon flew across the goal and tipped it wide with a brilliant outstretched save.
Just moments later and Stuart Rudd played in Steve Carney in the box after good pressure from Leigh and with Fearon grounded his shot was saved by Marshall as he flung himself across the goal.
Toiling uphill in a difficult second 45, City had some good pressure down the right through the excellent Swarbrick but they found their final ball wanting, particularly from a series of corners.
This was a tough evening’s work made tougher by the conditions and a well drilled Leigh side who were nothing if not persistently aggressive.
City now travel to Salford on Saturday before consecutive home ties against Curzon Ashton and Cammell Laird.
Leigh Genesis: Priestley, Flint, Sephton, Ferrigan, Grisedale, Dempsey, Carney, Millington, Rudd, Smith S, McDonald M (McDonald D 86)
Subs not used: Smith J, Pendlebury, Parkhouse
Lancaster City: Fearon 8, Henry 7, Kenyon 6, Duggan 6, Marshall 7, Wilson R 5 (Wynne 61), Rushton 6 (Hattersley 61), Rothwell 5, Swarbrick 6, Hall 6 (Johnson 76), McKenna 6
Subs not used: Nightingale, Wilson S
Referee: G Hilton
Starman: Dave Swarbrick Worth it for the running alone, looked most likely to break through the mire