Lancaster City 1 v 0 Witton Albion (FA Trophy – 1st Qualifying Round)
Lancaster City return to the Giant Axe Stadium this weekend knowing that a victory in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy against Witton Albion would see them complete the month of October unbeaten winning six and drawing one of their seven matches.
Having started the month of October with a 3-1 against Witton Albion at Wincham Park in the Bet Victor Northern Premier League, the Dolly Blues were looking to complete a league and cup double over over Carl McCauley side who have been performing well in league.
An end-to-end match, started on five minutes as the visitors made a strong run down the right-wing before a crossing the ball into the Lancaster City area, however the ball went past the Witton Albion strikers and out for a goal kick. A minute later the home side then worked their way up field, however the final ball was just to long and the visiting keeper Carl Renshaw collected the ball.
On sixteen minutes, another good move for the home side started with Charlie Bailey, who went past three players before sliding a ball through to Rob Wilson but his shot on goal was comfortably saved by Chris Renshaw in the visitors goal.
The visitors went close on the half hour mark as a well work move found its way into the Lancaster box which caused a scramble for the ball inside the six yard box, but the play was eventually brought back for an offside decision against Billy Smart.
Lancaster City took the lead on thrity-four minutes, after working the ball from midfield Robert Wilson managed to get into the visitors box before being brought down just before he got his shot away. The referee pointed to the spot and Wilson stepped up and smashed the ball into the net sending Chris Renshaw the wrong way to make it 1-0.
The last ten minutes of the half turned into a bit of a midfield battle with both sides trying to take control of the game. Simon Wills was outstanding in the centre of midfield chasing down the ball and putting in some excellent challenges all over the park.
Lancaster City came out for the second-half and had two corners in the first five minutes, then on fifty-one minutes the home side should have extended their lead as cross from the right-wing fell to Jack Armer who heads towards goal, but it was well saved by Renshaw.
Just after the hour mark, Witton Albion had a strong ten minutes were they created a number of half chances, however the Dolly Blues defended really well and never looked like conceeding a goal. Just like the first-half the Lancaster City squad stood strong and defended as one team.
The visitors best chance of the game came on seventy-one minutes, when a corner from the right found Tom Owens free in the area, but his header that beat Sam Ashton rattled the crossbar before being cleared to safety by the Lancaster City defence.
On eighty minutes, on loan Preston North End defender Jack Armer had the final effort of the half when he got clear down the left-hand side, but his shot from just inside the visitor area skimmed the crossbar and went out for a goal kick. The Dolly Blues defended well and held on to their lead to book a place in the next round of the FA Trophy.
Speaking after the match assistant manager Graham Lancashire said, “Firstly and most importantly we are through to the next round. This is a competition where you can get to play at some great stadiums against some very good teams so it is important that the players realise that and don’t take it lightly.
The match itself wasn’t a great spectacle with few chances and not a lot of football played by both teams, but with the weather we have had we were just pleased it was on. We felt we edged it with our quality and our only real piece of decent football played created the penalty which ultimately won us the game.
With no midweek match this leaves us a little more time for players to recover from their niggles and gives us two sessions to prepare for the trip to table topping South Shields. With the form we are in and having a virtually fully fit squad we go into this match full of confidence and under no illusions that the 3 points are there for the taking.”
Lancaster City – Ashton, Fensome, Williams, Cowperthwaite, Steel, Wills, C.Bailey, Wilson, Blinkhorn, Norris, Armer (Subs) Dawson, Carsley, Hudson, S.Bailey, Povey
Witton Albion – Renshaw, Lingouba, Short, Wardle, Anson, Goulding, McKenna, Smart, Sambor, Heath, Monaghan (Subs) Owens, Byrne, Sorensen, Neild
Goals – (Lancaster City) Wilson (34p)
Attendance – 288