The Dolly Blues made the trip to Spennymoor knowing that their Northern League opponents were one of the toughest draws they could have faced.
Whilst Lancaster City’s performance certainly wasn’t their best in recent weeks, it was professional and solid enough to bag the £3,000 prize money and a place in the second qualifying round.
Glenn Steel’s header 13 minutes into the game was enough to seal victory, along with an admirable defensive display from both goalkeeper Mike Hale and his back four.
The visitors started brightest kicking up the sloping pitch, looking dangerous from crossing positions that led to their early opener.
Ryan Elderton’s corner was met by the head of Glenn Steel on the edge of the six yard box to steer the ball past keeper Kyle Hayes.
City had far the better possession and play in the first half, with Mark Jackson whistling a shot just wide of the post on the half hour mark, but struggled to convert their dominance into goals.
A change of ends prompted a change of game plans from both teams. Lancaster seemed more defensive and cautious in their approach whilst Spennymoor opted to at time bombard the City defence with long balls.
City struggled to play their usual fluent passing game down the slope, regularly misplacing or over-hitting passes.
Spennymoor took City’s midfield out of the game and the backline had to deal with a number of dangerous crosses as they were pinned back for most of the second half.
The hosts went close when Anthony Peacock collected a cross in space to the right of Hale, but the City stopper closed his angles down well and palmed the ball to safety.
The hosts had two penalty shouts for handball waved away by referee Mike Gillespie as it just seemed to be City’s day.
The game was perhaps not as pretty as we’ve seen in recent weeks from the Dolly Blues, but it was a professional job when it mattered.
Lancaster face a tough trip away at league-leaders Curzon Ashton in the next round next Saturday.
Lancaster City: Hale 8, Wills 7, Steel 8, Marshall 7, Clark 7, Akrigg 6 (Winder 72), Hunter 7, Mahoney 6, Elderton 6, Kilifin 6 (Wearing 78), Jackson 6.