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Lancaster City beat Stalybridge Celtic in FA Cup after late drama

Lancaster City match-winner Joel Davidson. Photo by Phil Dawson (@PhotosbyPhilD)

Lancaster City have progressed to the next stage of the FA Cup after a strike from substitute Joel Davidson was enough to see off Stalybridge Celtic.

Tuesday night’s match, watched by an attendance of 193 at the Giant Axe, was the replay of the tie that ended 0-0 at Stalybridge’s Bower Fold ground last Saturday.

Yet another goalless draw after 90 minutes for City meant the game went to extra time to decide who would go through to the second qualifying round and face Bury AFC.

The Dollies will have undoubtedly been frustrated at once again not having capitalised on their chances during normal time, but that feeling turned to relief and joy in the 20th minute of extra time when they got the winning goal.

David Norris had the first attempt of the match, his effort going just wide.

Moments later, Edward Elewa-Ikpakwu, who was making his first start of the season for the Dollies, was forced off through injury and was replaced by Enock Likoy.

Dom Lawson had a chance just after the half hour mark but his effort was deflected wide.

Stalybridge’s first real opportunity of the game came not long after, with Raul Correia, the man who scored for them against City on August 20, firing towards goal but Curtis Anderson made a comfortable save.

That was it as far as decent opportunities in the first 45 went. The quality of football in the second half improved slightly, with City having one or two more promising attempts on goal, but they were unable to hit the back of the net.

The Dollies forced Greg Hall into a couple of good saves as the half progressed.

Jake Connelly was back in the team after a short spell on the sidelines. His shot with 10 minutes of normal time to go was tipped over by Hall.

Stalybridge could have snatched the victory right at the end but Curtis Anderson denied Cameron Darkwah in injury time.

With the scoreline at 0-0 after the final whistle, extra time began. It ended up being a rather scrappy affair, but City proved to have just that little bit extra and got the goal that they were so desperate for.

The decisive strike came from substitute Joel Davidson, who made an incredible impact, coming onto the pitch in the 109th minute and scoring in the 110th with his first touch of the match. It was his first ever goal for the Dollies.

City’s man of the match was Dom Lawson, who has had a great season so far, but looked particularly dangerous in Tuesday night’s game.

Up next in the FA Cup for the Dollies is their second qualifying round tie against Bury AFC at home on September 17, and, looking further ahead, progression to the third qualifying round of the competition would come with a big financial reward. If they were to win against Bury AFC next week, they would receive £3,375, according to the FA website.

Their next opponents in the league are Liversedge, a game that is also at the Giant Axe, on Saturday at 3pm.

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