Lancaster City are through to the second round of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy.
They beat AFC Fylde of the National League - two leagues above Lancaster’s division - 2-1 on Tuesday night (September 12) at The Giant Axe.
After going a goal behind in the first half, a fantastic second half comeback, led by double goalscorer Paul Jarvis, secured their second round status.
There were a host of changes to the Dolly Blues’ starting eleven, including full debuts being given to two players who had come through the youth team: Robbie Deighan and Jenson Butterworth.
Trey Turner, a midfielder who was last at Oldham Athletic, was announced as a Lancaster player on Tuesday and came straight into the lineup.
All three players were mightily impressive.
The visitors also fielded some younger players, with three academy scholars starting.
Eight minutes in, Owen Evans attempted to open the scoring for the away side direct from a free kick but blasted the ball well over the crossbar.
However, ‘the Coasters’ began to cause trouble for the hosts’ backline around ten minutes in, with Jon Ustabasi hitting a volley after a corner delivery. It took a few deflections before the Lancaster defence eventually cleared it.
Lancaster’s first chance of note in the game came in the 12th minute. Sam Bailey delivered one of his trademark balls into the box, finding youngster Jenson Butterworth whose header went over the bar.
There was a break in play as Fylde captain Harry Davis suffered a head injury as the ball came into the box and was substituted off.
Patrick Allington also came off with an injury before play resumed and was replaced by first team captain Andrew Teague.
Only moments after the game got underway again, Andre Mendes made a brilliant save to deny a powerful effort from Connor Barrett.
From that moment, the game really burst into life.
Jenson Butterworth looked electric on the right for City. He latched onto a cross-field ball, before finding space just inside the box and trying to tuck it into the bottom right corner, but the shot went just the wrong side of goal.
Before the half hour mark, Fylde came incredibly close to scoring.
Ustabasi, Joe Rowley and Charlie Markland all took shots on from close range but Mendes and the defence in front of him all held strong. Markland came the closest with his effort being blocked off the line.
Fylde got the breakthrough four minutes before half time through Danny Ormerod, who found the bottom corner from close range after a nicely worked move by the visitors.
The Dolly Blues threatened to equalise straight from the restart, but Teague’s header from a Sam Bailey cross was just too high.
Young players Deighan and Butterworth looked bright throughout the game, the former in the second half especially, and the latter was unlucky not to equalise just before the break, his effort brushing the side netting.
The second half was as entertaining as the first. Goalscorer Ormerod got on the end of a cross within seconds of the half commencing and nodded it towards goal, but Mendes got down low to save.
Don Lawson was another impressive player for Lancaster, tricking Fylde defenders with some tidy footwork on quite a few occasions. He was so close to an equaliser when he found space in the box to strike but Coasters’ substitute Jesse Hailwood managed to clear it off the line.
Lawson had another chance, this time being fed through on the right, but Theo Richardson was equal to his low effort.
The Dolly Blues continued to press for a leveller and got their reward with just under 15 minutes to go. On his first start this season, Paul Jarvis got the equalising goal, coolly slotting the ball past Richardson.
And just two minutes later, Jarvis completed the comeback and scored an incredible solo goal worthy of winning any game.
A good few City players had deceived the Fylde defence with their footwork in the second half and Jarvis did just that, before once again applying the calmest of finishes.
Clearly, Jarvis and Lancaster’s quick double had gotten to a few Fylde players’ heads. Kieran Glynn was shown a straight red card for dissent.
Fylde hardly responded at all to going 2-1 down, with Lancaster continuing to be the more threatening team until the final whistle.
There was jubilation from the home support at full time, who had been in good spirits ever since the equaliser.
It was a huge win against higher ranked opposition and yet another memorable landmark victory so early on in the season.
Graham Lancashire spoke to Beyond Radio post-match.
“We were disappointed with our first half performance, but in the end we came through in the second half," he said.
“We tweaked the system, brought on a couple of subs and it worked fantastically for us.
“To get a win over a team two divisions above you is always good.
“We had our stall set out, it was difficult in the first half with their chances - we had an injury to Pat (Allington) as well which was difficult to contend with.
“We came through it though and, in the second half, we were the better team by far.”
Lancashire was impressed by the performances of Turner, Deighan and Butterworth.
“They were outstanding, all three of them gave a great account of themselves.
“Trey (Turner) has been with us for a couple of weeks doing training but hadn’t had an opportunity (in a game) so eventually he’s been given one and did very well.
Robbie (Deighan) finished the game really strongly and we know what Jenson (Butterworth) is all about. All three of them did ever so well.”
Lancaster’s next game is also in a cup competition.
They take on Marske United at home in the Second Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday (September 16) at The Giant Axe.
Lancaster City: Mendes, S Bailey (C Bailey 45’), Clarke, Turner, Brownhill, Allington (Teague 16’) Deighan, Jarvis (c), Lawson, Norris, Butterworth (Connelly 74’)
Subs not used: Grand, Stephenson
AFC Fylde: Richardson, Barrett (Hailwood 57’), Davis (c, Hope 16’), Bird, Evans, Glynn, Holder, Ustabasi (McDermott 54’), Markland, Rowley, Ormerod
Subs not used: Muscart, Dodgson