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Lancaster City draw with Nantwich Town as Northern Premier League season kicks off

Lancaster City had to settle for a draw on the opening day of the season despite having a series of chances in the blistering heat against 10-man Nantwich Town.

The previous meeting between the two sides in March ended in a 1-0 win for City, but unfortunately they couldn’t take all three points off the Dabbers this time.

A first half full of chances for the Dolly Blues was overshadowed by a number of controversial challenges, in particular a red card for Nantwich Town’s Joe Robbins when he denied David Norris a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Charlie Bailey scored not long after the restart when Norris provided him with a low cross from the edge of the 18-yard box.

The away team applied pressure on the hosts following the opening goal and equalised when Connor Heath, fresh off the substitute’s bench, lobbed City goalkeeper Jordan Eastham.

The home team had the better of the final few chances but was unable to regain the lead.

An attendance of 309 turned out to watch the Dollies' first competitive match of the season and were served up a feisty and enjoyable affair.

City right back Sam Bailey looked dangerous, especially early on in proceedings with many good crosses into the box that the attacking line almost profited from.

The game then started getting more competitive, with Nantwich Town having a few decent chances and both teams committing fouls, the most unpleasant of which was from the away side’s number eight, midfielder Joe Robbins, who deservedly got sent off after he brought down David Norris from around 20 yards out when he was through on goal.

Nantwich Town’s Joel Grant drew a couple of fouls in the first half but his threat was quelled when the Dabbers forward was substituted off for Jack Sherratt in a suspected tactical change due to Joe Robbins’ sending off.

The Dabbers did look the stronger team going forward when the halftime whistle blew, but seven minutes into the second half, Charlie Bailey (pictured below) opened the scoring for the hosts when David Norris sent a ball into the penalty area and the player who would go on to be named man of the match latched onto it and tucked it home.

The game then swung into the away side’s favour. Nantwich Town made a key substitution in the 71st minute, bringing on forward Connor Heath who proved to make all the difference for the Dabbers who were on level terms within two minutes of his introduction.

The hosts pushed to try and make it 2-1, the best chance falling to Dom Lawson whose shot was parried by Louis Gray.

At this very early stage in the season, Mark Fell’s side occupy eleventh spot in the Northern Premier Division, the same position they ended their last campaign on, but of course the aim will be to improve on that.

Attention will now turn to their first away day of the season when they face Marine AFC on Tuesday night.

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