LANCASTER CITY COMFORTABLY saw off Ossett Albion on Saturday with a relaxed 4-0 victory away from home.
City had the luxury of resting key defensive cogs in Neil Marshall, Rob Henry and goalkeeper Martin Fearon and frankly they weren’t needed as a poor Ossett side were finished off inside 45 minutes.
The scoring was opened on just three minutes, Dave Swarbrick played the ball in for Alex Johnson who advanced into the box and struck a shot against the bar; it should have been dispatched by Mike Rushton on the rebound but his effort was saved and dropped back to Johnson’s feet for a simple tap-in.
The Dolly Blues’ season, from here-on-in ,is building up to a President’s cup final game against Belper Town on April 5 and this was a decent work-out, they had a lot of space and time on the ball and were given a tough physical test - if not a footballing one.
They doubled their lead just after the half hour mark through a brave intervention from Jack Duggan.
Duggan had already beat the Ossett ‘keeper to the ball from an in-swinging cross and was left angry that nobody followed up, this time he met a Sam Nightingale free-kick, that was dangerously curled in, in-front of the stopper and put it away himself.
The third was created with an assist from the referee, the man in black played a good advantage after an Ossett handball on the half-way line and from the loose ball Mike Rushton was able to advance towards the box and loop a ball over the flat-footed back four to unleash Swarbrick, he finished well with a half-volley on his laces into the corner.
All of the notable action came in the first 45, the home side were gifted a bit of space by some generous Dolly Blue play but could only scuff shots straight at stand-in City ‘keeper Dave Rogerson , by Michael Senior who also blazed one well over and Joshua Moore.
For City the brilliant Alex Kenyon had two decent chances as he first tested Ashley Connor in the Ossett net with a well struck free-kick before linking up well with Swarbrick and hitting a similar shot, which was again well saved.
The fourth was both poor and irrelevant, the game was already decided before the break for a dominant City and Connor in the Ossett net made an embarrassing hash of a simple free-kick.
It was angled goal-ward by Rob Wilson – he replaced Max Rothwell who was injured in the warm-up – from just inside the Ossett half and it should have been a simple catch for Connor, he flapped it into the back of the net.
In hindsight it was a great game for the Dolly Blues to rest their defensive big hitters and a good win to build on en-route to the big final date on April 5.
OSSETT ALBION: Connor, Riordan J (Daly 45), Biscombe, White, Riordan D, Cook, Hobbs (Toronczak 45), Senior, Moore, Bentley (Tracey 45), Moore
Subs not used: Ferguson, Cornelly
LANCASTER CITY: Rogerson 7, Wilson S 7, Nightingale 7, Gregson 7, Duggan 8, Kenyon 8, Rushton 7, Wilson R 7 (Wynn 64), Swarbrick 7, Johnson 7, McKenna 7 (Hall 64)
Subs not used: Hattersley, Henry
Referee: N Gibbons
STARMAN Jack Duggan Very brave in beating the ‘keeper from a set-piece for his goal and commanding at the back