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Lancaster City begin FA Cup campaign with home tie against Witton Albion

Lancaster City face Witton Albion in the FA Cup this Saturday. Image by Brandwood Photography.

Lancaster City take on Witton Albion on Saturday at The Giant Axe as their FA Cup campaign gets underway.

They start their cup journey in the First Qualifying Round in good form as the Dollies are unbeaten in four games and are fourth in the NPL Premier Division.

Mark Fell’s side have picked up 11 points from the 18 available, beating Stafford Rangers, Macclesfield and Atherton Collieries, drawing against Worksop Town and Guiseley and losing to Radcliffe.

They are also yet to lose at home this season.

Witton Albion are a division below Lancaster City, playing in the NPL Division One West for the second successive campaign after relegation from the Premier Division in 2021/22.

Albion have only tasted defeat once this season, losing 4-2 against Runcorn Linnets on Monday afternoon.

They have already won a game in the FA Cup this year, knocking out Congleton Town in the Preliminary Round on August 19.

Aside from that victory, the Northwich-based team have only won one of their five league games and have drawn three.

They have conceded in every game they have played so far this season, while in contrast Lancaster have kept four clean sheets in six matches.

The two sides last met less than 18 months ago in the league, whilst Witton Albion were battling to stay in the division. Albion won 1-0 in that game, but Lancaster won three of the four clashes that had taken place between the two sides before then.

Anything can happen in the FA Cup, as proven in last year’s competition when Lancaster were knocked out by Bury, who play two divisions below the Dollies.

The Shakers were 5-3 victors in the Second Qualifying Round Replay last September.

Lancaster will be without Nic Evangelinos for this game, and for a fair few after that, in what is a big blow for the team.

The forward faces up to three months out after fracturing his fibula following a collision with Atherton Collieries goalkeeper Nico Hansen on Monday.

Jacob Holland-Wilkinson is a doubt for Saturday’s game after he was on the receiving end of a nasty looking challenge in the game against Guiseley.

Speaking to Beyond Radio on Monday, Fell acknowledged that it won’t be an easy game.

“It’s a great opportunity for us but it’ll be a tough game," he said.

"If we underperform, we know we could lose so we’ve got to be at our best and we’ll do so by preparing properly and training properly.

“On paper, it looks like a decent draw - a team below you at home – it doesn’t work like that. They’ve got great players, they’ll be energetic, they’ll be fast-paced. They’ll come and have a go, because what have they got to lose?”

Lancaster City v Witton Albion gets underway at The Giant Axe at 3pm.

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