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Third consecutive draw for Lancaster City keeps them 15th in table

Niall Cowperthwaite puts in a cross for Lancaster City's goal. Photo by Phil Dawson (@PhotosbyPhilD)

It was yet another 1-1 draw for the Dolly Blues at the Giant Axe on Saturday, this time against Stalybridge Celtic.

Dom Lawson opened the scoring for the hosts with his second goal in as many games but the Celts equalised through a Chris Dagnall header.

The game was one of few clear-cut chances for either side and it was end to end throughout.

Niall Cowperthwaite made a fantastic, mazy run down the left side of the pitch and crossed the ball into the box, where Dom Lawson got on the end of the ball and managed to turn it in after a failed attempt at a scrappy clearance by the Stalybridge defence. Lancaster’s number nine went on to be named their man of the match.

Cowperthwaite was having a strong game and could have had a goal himself but his low drive from outside the box went wide.

Nic Evangelinos was another player who could have got a second for Lancaster, his header was just off target.

Pat Allington was taken off with an injury and was replaced by Ed Ikpakwu, who was getting himself into loads of tackles from the minute he entered the fray.

The away side got the equaliser when Theo Bailey-Jones’ cross was headed goalwards by Chris Dagnall. City ‘keeper Sam Waller got a glove on it but saw the ball go past him and into the net.

The first major chance of the second half fell to the visitors who came close to taking the lead from a free kick, but nobody could get the ball over the line in a congested box.

Lancaster were forced into another change on the hour mark, with Paul Jarvis coming on in place of the injured Cowperthwaite.

As the rain began to pour down relentlessly in Lancaster, Stalybridge’s Bailey-Jones forced a strong save out of Waller with around 15 minutes left to play, while up the other end, substitute Brad Carsley’s attempt at goal was kept out by the boot of the away side’s keeper, Greg Hall.

Lancaster assistant manager Graham Lancashire spoke to the club’s press after the game and saw the positive side of the result.

“It’s obviously disappointing to not get a win out of the game, but it’s another draw and no defeat, which is a positive.

"We have just been speaking to the lads and said ‘look, just keep plugging away, we’re actually playing quite well, we’re not playing badly’”.

Lancashire praised the fans’ support and said they will be “hugely important” for the rest of the season.

“Every club, bar one or two in this division, will say ‘we want more fans coming through the gate’ but the ones we have at the moment are vocal, they get behind the lads, they’re never having a go at anyone – it’s all positive.

“We just want to see a few more people through the turnstiles. Performances and winning games help and drags a few more people through but it’s about getting our name out there.”

City remain 15th in the NPL Premier Division and have an on-the-pitch break of over a week before travelling to Guiseley on January 17 in a rearranged fixture.

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