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Lancaster City extend winning run with late clincher

Image: @PhotosbyPhilD/Phil Dawson

A contentious 87th-minute goal from Brad Carroll gave Lancaster City all three points against Ashton United at a windy Giant Axe.

The Dollies have now won their last four league games after a tricky start to the season and are up to 13th in the league.

Despite neither of team coming onto the pitch, two young prospects, George Loran and Jenson Butterworth were on the Dolly Blues bench, whereas the visitors only put out three substitutes due to squad illnesses.

Defender Lamine Toure came straight into the starting XI to make his first appearance for Lancaster, on loan from Bolton Wanderers. After building up fitness with two substitute appearances, Brad Carsley made his first start since re-joining the club on November 18, having played at the Giant Axe from 2018-20.

The first real chance of the game fell to Ashton United’s Jack Kenny who was through one on one but was smartly kept out by Sam Waller, who collected his player of the month award for October, voted by the fans, after the game.

Nic Evangelinos had a great chance on the left hand side of the box but his effort just went over the bar. The first true challenge to Ashton’s debutant ‘keeper Callum Jakovlevs came from Dale Whitham who has been very impressive in recent weeks, his strike from inside a crowded box was denied by the Charnock Richard loanee.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Whitham was taken off and replaced by Brad Carroll.

Lancaster’s new man Toure was putting in a brilliant debut performance and his most vital and impressive action of the game was to execute an inch-perfect slide tackle to stop Callum Saunders from closing in on goal.

David Norris’ volleyed hit from the edge of the box went just over the bar, the elements perhaps playing a part in that one.

Dana Amaral forced a save from Waller who just managed to parry the shot away.

Brad Carroll’s rebounded effort, in the mind of the officials and the Dollies players, had crossed the line to give Lancaster all three points however the away side were arguing that it had not.

Speaking to the club website after the game, Mark Fell said that, while he and his staff couldn’t quite see for themselves if the goal should’ve stood, “the lads are very adamant it’s miles over (the line).

“On balance of play we probably deserved it (the win).”

Fell was full of praise for Lamine Toure on his debut. “I thought he was excellent. It’s a really difficult to come into.

“He’s had to come into a blood and thunder, tough game, he’s got right into the middle of that back three and he’s not put a foot wrong. Jamie (Mellen) and Pat (Allington) are very deserving of the clean sheet as well, the first clean sheet in a while!”

Next up for Lancaster City is their rearranged LFA Challenge Trophy Second Round home tie against Bamber Bridge on Wednesday (November 30) at 7.45pm.

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