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10-man Lancaster City earn point at league leaders FC United of Manchester

Lancaster City celebrate Sam Bailey's equaliser. Photo by Phil Dawson (@PhotosbyPhilD)

An impressive Lancaster City team left Moston with a well deserved point from an entertaining match against league leaders FC United of Manchester

Lancaster had a chance to take the lead when the referee pointed to the spot after a foul in the home side’s box, but Evangelinos’ 12-yard spot kick was saved by Dan Lavercombe. Not long after that, the hosts went 1-0 up through Regan Linney.

City soon equalised however in what was shaping up to be an open and exciting encounter.

The visitors were down to 10 men when Niall Cowperthwaite was shown a straight red card, but that made no difference to the score line as a close game ended 1-1.

Both teams started strongly in the first 10 minutes, with Lancaster ‘keeper Sam Waller being put through his paces, denying Regan Linney after he made a great run towards goal.

Waller also did well to keep the ball from crossing the line in another chance for the hosts – the ball was spilled initially.

Following one or two good City attacks during that time, in the 10th minute the Dollies were awarded a penalty when David Norris went down in the box, but the home side’s goalkeeper Lavercombe guessed correctly which way the resulting spot kick would go.

Just a couple of minutes later, the hosts were in front.

After latching onto a long ball, Linney was causing trouble again and this time his effort, after losing his man, found the back of the City net.

Lancaster were soon back in the game though. Sam Bailey, who is always dangerous on the right hand side, got himself just inside the box and fired a shot towards goal. The ball whizzed past the home defence before ending up in the net to level the scoring.

The Reds had a few decent chances to retake the lead before half time but Waller was alert on every occasion to deny them a second. Linney continued to be their most dangerous player.

The game evened out more after the break, Lancaster in fact having the best chances early on.

The first, Dom Lawson’s effort from a long ball, went just wide.

On the hour mark, Waller was at it again with his keeping heroics, this time to deny former City loanee Joe Rodwell-Grant what seemed like an almost certain goal, but the Dollies number one tipped his shot over. The man in the FC United net had to produce a stretching save too to deny Lawson from turning the game on its head.

Niall Cowperthwaite, previously given a yellow card for a challenge on Dontai Gabidon, was given a straight red for an unsavoury tackle on the same player, and the visitors went down to 10 men, but that didn’t really change the state of play.

Plenty of half chances and speculative shots followed, until in the dying seconds of proceedings, City almost made it 2-1 through Dale Whitham but Lavercombe was quick to palm the ball away from him, and no City player could follow up on the loose ball.

Sam Waller was named the Dolly Blues’ man of the match, he produced some great saves over the course of the game.

City boss Mark Fell was pleased with his team’s performance and went as far as to say that they “outplayed” the Reds.

He told the club website that “we wanted to come here, have a real go and give our supporters something to shout about. I think we did that.”

Game management was another plus point for the Dollies gaffer.

“Our shape and structure when we went down to 10 was fantastic, and the first 20 minutes of the second half when it was 11 versus 11 was fantastic.

“I’m really proud of us.”

Lancaster City have three home games ahead of them now, the first against Liversedge in the league on Tuesday night (October 25).

Fell said that if his team could match the performance that they did on Saturday “to the next three games, we might just put ourselves into the chasing pack.”

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