The Dolly Blues will settle their FA Cup Preliminary Round tie in a replay at Giant Axe on Tuesday night after Ryan Winder’s late goal earned them a deserved draw on the North East coast.
City were without Billy Akrigg, Danny Carlton, Mike Hale and Jacob Gregory through knocks and, whilst still waiting on international clearance on several of their summer acquisitions, were only able to name a 4 man bench on Saturday.
In typical FA Cup fashion the Northern League Champions took the game to City in the opening quarter of an hour at the GER Stadium, with the Dollies’ backline proving tough to crack and limiting the hosts to a couple of half chances.
The real chance of the first half came after 25 minutes when Aaron Taylor held up Jacob Davis’ long ball for just enough time to turn and play Garry Hunter in on goal.
The City midfielder opted to place his shot from the edge of the box but his effort narrowly missed the target.
Taylor then had a chance to get in on goal as he got behind the Seasiders’ defence, but struggled to control a pass that got held up on the bobbly surface that Peacock admitted after the game was difficult for his side.
Dollies forward Taylor was at the heart of the action after the restart, Hunter’s pass playing him in on goal on the right side of the box in the early minutes. The resultant strike from a tight angle was powerful, beat ‘keeper Robert Dean, but smashed off the inside of the post and out to safety.
The second half was largely devoid of clear chances as both sides struggled to show their true form, with the opening not coming until late in the period.
The Seasider’s searching corner 15 minutes from time was flicked into a pile of bodies at the near post by Adam Wheatley, the lost ball falling to Liam O’Sullivan at the back post for a simple finish into an open net.
Despite the setback Lancaster played on and found the match-saving equaliser just nine minutes from time. Gav Clark picked out Ryan Winder on the left flank, and the winger carried the ball past his man into the box to tuck the ball past Dean at the near post.
Michael Donlon had to be sharp to tip Craig Gott’s curling free kick around the post in added time in the final chance of the game that ensured what promises to be an exciting replay at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.
City: Donlon 6, Antoine-Clark 8, Marshall 7, Davis 6, Hudson 8, Whittington 7, Hunter 8, Clark 7, Winder 7, Taylor 6, Poole 6
Man of the Match: Ben Hudson. Another solid display from the City fullback.