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Castle on the Hill

Lancaster City end season with comeback win over Guiseley

David Norris scored for City on Saturday

Lancaster City came from a goal down to beat Guiseley 2-1 on the final day of the season.

Goals from David Norris and Charlie Bailey got the win for the Dollies.

An attendance of 593 watched the game, helping the club to break its average attendance record over a season.

The victory sees Lancaster finish the season 11th in the NPL Premier Division.

Guiseley’s Callum Chippendale’s effort from a free kick routine went just over the bar before in-form Dollies man Charlie Bailey forced a great save from Hagie Damba. The game became one of only half-chances for both sides before the half hour mark.

Ethan Kachosa put the visitors in front after connecting with a direct ball and curling the ball past Sam Waller.

On the stroke of half time, Leigh Whelan struck a powerful volley towards goal but Waller produced a great save to keep it at 0-1.

Ben Smales-Braithwaite had a couple of good opportunities for the away side in the first half, but it was inside the first five of the second period when his best one fell to him. His effort smashed against the post from a tricky angle.

Lancaster responded to Guiseley’s energetic restart within seconds.

Charlie Bailey found David Norris from a set piece and the veteran was in exactly the right place to finish it past Damba.

Brad Carroll went down in the box as Damba rushed to try and meet him and the referee pointed to the spot. A chaotic few seconds then ensued and the decision was overturned.

The game was turned on its head when Charlie Bailey was played through and finished cooly past Damba.

Norris and Kyle Brownhill had on-target efforts to try and extend Lancaster’s lead but 2-1 was the final score.

Charlie Bailey, with a goal and an assist to his name, was awarded player of the match.

Mark Fell admitted his team were “a step, a yard off the pace” in the first half and Guiseley’s goal was “awful” to concede.

However, Fell praised his players for their second half comeback.

“Great credit to the lads because they dug in in the second half, they got [on the] front foot, they went and got after them and were a lot more ruthless," he said.

“The two goals are well crafted and, to be fair, we could have scored three, four or five.”

Fell was happy with the progress made this season but is keen to get closer to the playoff places in the next campaign.

“We’ve got to look now to progress this team and this club to the next level, we’ve got to shorten the gap between 11th and fifth. This 11th [place finish] is a significantly better 11th than last year.

F“Yes we want to drive all the marginal gains to make us better and stronger but I genuinely think this team is a top five team. In a normal season, we would’ve had a say in those positions up the top end of the table.

“Our job now is to consolidate, add some quality but never to lose that spirit, that endeavour that we have.

“The dressing room are a fantastic set of lads and my work will start in the next two weeks to try and re-engage those players while we’re starting to dip in the market for the areas we need to strengthen in as well.”

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