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Lancaster City beaten by Northern Premier League leaders South Shields

The Lancaster City team during a tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II before Tuesday night's game. Photo by Phil Dawson (@PhotosbyPhilD)

Lancaster City suffered their first home defeat of the season on Tuesday night when they lost 2-0 to league leaders South Shields.

A South Shields corner hit the knee of City captain Andy Teague and went in after 10 minutes and then the Mariners doubled their advantage not long before the break after a great attacking move was finished off by Michael Woods.

Andy Teague’s own goal was the first chance of note for South Shields, and it was a bit of a freak goal which the City skipper was unfortunate to see go in.

The Dollies could have equalised soon after, Nico Evangelinos’ effort going just over.

For a good 15 or 20 minutes after that, City faced several chances and were stretched defensively.

Calen Gallagher-Allison had to make a brilliant clearance to deny South Shields a second goal, and Dollies ‘keeper Curtis Anderson made a strong save from Lewis Alessandra’s strike.

Henri Ogunby, a new signing for Lancaster City, came on in the 34th minute to replace the injured Gallagher-Allison and was one of their more dangerous players as the game went on.

When the away team did double their lead, it was through a great attacking move, finished off by Michael Woods, who is in good form for the Mariners, having scored four goals in their last five games.

The second half began slowly but with City having the better of it, however they couldn’t make the most of their much improved performance. Nico Evangelinos looked the most likely player from the home side to score, having a good couple of chances towards the halfway stage of the second 45.

The game petered out and became a tad scrappy, with one or two players from each team receiving yellow cards.

It was a solid attendance for the Dollies though, with 237 people turning out to watch the match unfold at the Giant Axe. Brad Hubbold was the club’s man of the match.

At this relatively early stage of the season, The Dollies remain just above the relegation places by virtue of goal difference.

City manager Mark Fell told the club website after the game that “we were so far off it’ and “we made errors for the goals, which is unlike us”.

He was happier with the second half performance, saying “we got in their faces, we were a bit more positive and by far the better side in the second half.”

Fell admitted the club’s current situation is “killing us”.

Nine members of the first team squad are out, most if not all with “mid to long term injuries”.

Fell even said training was a difficulty at the moment

“We bring them in on Thursday to train, but what do I do? We do a bit of shape work and unopposed work, but I’m genuinely not sure if there’s 13 fit bodies for that squad, there’s question marks over loads of them. We’re going to have to bring something in.

“I won’t give too much away but there’s one player who was playing tonight who should not be playing.”

Up next for the Dollies is a home FA Cup tie against Bury AFC on Saturday, a game which Fell said in a previous interview with the club last week that his side were ‘favourites’ to win.

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