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Lancaster City and Worksop Town play out goalless draw 

Simon Grand. Image by Michael Porter Photography.

Lancaster drew 0-0 with Worksop Town at The Giant Axe in a scrappy affair.

However, Lancaster will feel that they could’ve got all three points.

Despite them dropping down a place in the NPL Premier Division table, the result extends the Dolly Blues’ unbeaten run to seven games.

It was an impressive defensive display from City against a side who, heading into Saturday's game, were the division’s second highest scorers with 50 goals. 

Interim assistant manager and player of the match Simon Grand said he was “happy” with the performance. 

Alongside Grand and interim manager Andrew Teague is now ex-Carlisle United and Barrow defender Danny Livesey, who has joined the club as a first team coach.

The game started in a fairly even fashion, with a series of half chances from both teams.

Worksop had two great chances inside the first 15 but both were taken in offside positions, while Lancaster tested the visitors’ defence with balls into the box that they dealt with well.

Vaughn Redford came close to giving Worksop the lead at the halfway mark of the first 45, as his effort - put on a plate thanks to a header by George Taft - went just wide.

With less than 10 minutes of the first half left, Dom Lawson had two great chances to score in twenty seconds, one comfortably held by goalkeeper Sebastian Malkowski, the other going wide. 

Sam Bailey tried his luck from some distance after a nicely worked move down the left but the skipper dragged his shot wide.

Those efforts were a sign of the Dolly Blues growing into the game once again, and that continued into the second half.

Don Lawson fed a ball through to Tom Kilifin who bore down on goal, but a fast-thinking, diving Malkowski and the offside flag denied him.

Worksop substitute James Hanson got on the end of a corner for the away side but he couldn’t quite find the net.  

After that, it was Lancaster who looked the likeliest to score. 

Brad Carroll was involved in a lot of City attacks in the second half and he had a great chance to open the scoring himself on the edge of the box, but his effort went over.

Jacob Holland Wilkinson came on for the final 20 minutes or so of the game and forced Malkowski into making his best save of the game from close range after a nice move got the ball into the box. 

Only moments later, Worksop came forward and played some really nice football before the ball eventually fell to Jordan Burrow. 

He turned the defender but his effort went comfortably wide of the post.

Interim player-assistant manager Simon Grand was named player of the match for yet another stellar defensive performance, and he spoke to Beyond Radio post-match.

“We’ve done our homework on [Worksop Town] and, for me, I believe they’re collectively the best team in the league," he said.

“They’ve come here today and I feel, from the second half, that they’ll be over the moon to have got a 0-0 draw, which speaks volumes about how far we’ve come and the standards we’ve set.

“The standards we’ve set are basically everything that they [Worksop] want to be and I think we’re getting very close to that level now as well.”

It’s fair to say Grand has had an eventful few months at City, since joining in the summer.

He’s scored six goals - including a hat trick - from centre back, become part of the interim management team and has played nearly every game in what he has described as a “mixed” season so far.

“When I arrived in July, you wouldn’t have thought it’s gone the way it’s gone and that I’d be speaking to you now," he said.

“We’ve taken it all in our stride, we’ve been enjoying the ride as we’ve been going along, so let’s try and keep this unbeaten run going and seeing where it takes us.”

Next up for Lancaster is a Boxing Day trip to rivals Bamber Bridge.

‘Brig’ beat Bradford Park Avenue 3-0 away from home on Saturday, and also recorded a 2-1 win over Matlock Town last weekend, so they’ll be heading into the clash in high spirits.

They are currently 15th in the league but, as last season’s NPL Premier Division playoff finalists, they’ll be aiming to finish much higher.

Bamber Bridge v Lancaster City kicks off at 3pm on Boxing Day at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

 

Lancaster City: Mendes, S Bailey (c), Brownhill, Barnes, Grand, Mellen, Carroll, Sloan, Lawson (Connelly 68’), Kilifin (Holland-Wilkinson 72’), C Bailey (Norris 68’)

Subs not used: Teague, Clarke 

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