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Lancaster City concede late on to draw against Workington AFC

Andre Mendes makes a save for Lancaster late in the game. Image by Michael Porter Photography.

Lancaster City couldn’t make it four wins in a row as they drew 1-1 with Workington AFC.

Dom Lawson opened the scoring around the half hour mark for the Dolly Blues before the Cumbrian side equalised late on through David Symington, who got his 21st goal of the season.

Aside from their goal, Workington had the ball in the back in the net on three other occasions in the game, twice in the first half, however all of them were ruled out for offside, with the Lancaster defence working well together for large parts of the game. 

Fifteen minutes into proceedings, Nic Evangelinos was played through from the right by Sam Bailey. The number 7 drove a shot towards goal but Workington ‘keeper Jim Atkinson turned it past the post. 

Not long after, City played some rapid football down the left hand side, the ball eventually ending up with Sam Bailey, whose effort took a heavy deflection off a Workington defender and went over.  

The Dolly Blues took the lead on the 28th minute mark.

San Bailey sent a ball long from just inside the middle third of the pitch, which was brought down and controlled by Nic Evangelinos.

He laid the ball off to Dom Lawson, who struck it calmly into the bottom left corner to get his eighth of the season.

Evangelinos nearly got a second assist of the game when a cross field ball came to him then was played to David Norris.

However, Norris’ effort was straight at Atkinson. 

Workington had a goal disallowed five minutes either side of half time as they pushed for an equaliser.

They were the more threatening team in the second half, and would eventually have something to show for it, but Lancaster still had their chances.

Jake Connelly was a second half substitute and within minutes of his introduction, he was causing problems for ‘the Reds’’ keeper. 

He tried a through ball for Charlie Bailey to run onto, but Atkinson got there first.

However, Atkinson only cleared the ball as far as Connelly, who could’ve doubled Lancaster’s lead by shooting from range into an empty net, but his effort went well wide. 

David Symington tried an effort from range that was straight at Mendes, who closed down a Reds’ forward who attempted to follow up on the rebound.

That effort only hit the outside of the woodwork and was cleared.

Nic Evangelinos almost doubled City’s lead after being played through beautifully with less than 15 minutes to go but his shot didn’t trouble Atkinson.

With three minutes of normal time remaining, Workington got the leveller thanks to their prolific striker. 

A high and long ball towards Symington from a midfielder forced Mendes to rush off his line, but Symington beat him to it, nodded it past him and tapped it in.

It was a disappointing goal to concede but Mendes produced two wonder saves late on to prevent Workington from turning the game on its head in the way that Lancaster have done in recent weeks. 

Mendes kept out dangerous efforts from Steven Rigg and Jordan Little, both of which were destined for the top corner. 

Lancaster boss Chris Willcock spoke to Beyond Radio post-match and said the result was “fair”.

“It’s always disappointing when you concede late on," he said.

“Overall, I think it was a fair result, I think there were spells in the game where we did well and created opportunities and I’d say the same for them.

“They’ve had three goals disallowed, at the time the linesman was in good positions and I think they were three really good decisions.

“We take a point and move on.

“I said to the players, was there an improvement from earlier on in the season when we played them and lost 2-1? For me there was.

“If we take our chances at 1-0, we win the game.

“There are lot of positives to take out of it.”

Willcock praised Dom Lawson’s performance and goal but said that he will be a doubt for their midweek game. 

The number 9 came off midway through the second half after taking a nasty knock to the head earlier in the match.

“In training we like to do an extra 15 minutes or so after the sessions with the strikers, working on finishing and getting their confidence up, so I’ll take the credit [for the goal], I said that to him at half time!

“Unfortunately he did have the head injury which did knock him for six, it’s why we made the early change.

“We’ll assess him for Tuesday and go from there.”

Their game on Tuesday is the rescheduled Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy Quarter Final clash with Bamber Bridge at The Giant Axe.

The Dolly Blues have beaten AFC Fylde and Prestwich Heys to progress to this stage. 

‘Brig’ advanced past Chorley and West Didsbury & Charlton in previous rounds.

City are seven-time winners of the trophy, most recently in 2021 when they won the postponed 2019/20 final, while Bamber Bridge have won it once, in the 1994/95 campaign. 

We want to carry on the momentum in the four games we’ve had," said Willcock.

“It doesn’t matter which competition we’re playing in, we want to do well.”

 

Lancaster City team v Workington: Mendes, S Bailey (c), Brownhill, Sloan, Barnes, Cowperthwaite, Evangelinos, Carroll (Ikpakwu 88’), Lawson (Connelly 67’), Norris, C Bailey 

Unused substitutes: Clarke, Gallagher-Allison, Kilifin 

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