Lancaster City 2-1 Skelmersdale

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ANOTHER resolute defensive performance from the Dolly Blues saw them through to the next round of the President’s Cup and a home quarter-final against Curzon Ashton next Thursday evening.

Goals either side of the break from winger Billy McKenna gave City the comfortable base from which they repelled wave after wave of Skelmersdale attack.

It was an uncomfortable last ten minutes after Sam Wilson’s unfortunate own-goal – he had to act to clear a dangerous cross but could only slice it past Martin Fearon into his own net – but City held on admirably to grab the win.

Floodlight failure meant the kick-off was delayed over an hour and the patient fans were treated to a fast-paced game that was low on chances for either side. The visitors played neat passing football and kept possession well but only had two shots from range that sailed well wide from Ryan Wade and Silver to show for their considerable efforts.

City, meanwhile, did little to trouble the Skelmersdale net until they took the lead through McKenna on 34 minutes.

A driven shot from Adam Farrell hit Dave Swarbrick who got it out of his feet and clipped a shot off the post. McKenna was well placed to put away the rebound.

Swarbrick was introduced on 31 minutes to replace Max Rothwell who picked up a knock and he was a persistent thorn in the Skelmersdale side throughout.

Indeed he had a direct influence on the second goal, Mike Rushton did well to find him deep on the right wing and he took a neat touch before finding McKenna at the back post, he swept the ball into the net to ultimately secure the win.

It was far from plain-sailing though as the visitors surged forward. It was testament to a dominant performance from Neil Marshall and his back four that they could not get close enough to the box to cause any real damage other than the own goal.

Wilson looks, at eighteen, remarkably accomplished at centre-half and along with Rob Henry and Alex Kenyon he played a huge part in keeping City in the hunt for some silverware.

If City beat Curzon in their quarter-final they know table-toppers Chester lay in wait after they overcame AFC Fylde 3-0 on Tuesday evening.

Lancaster City: Fearon 7, Henry 8, Kenyon 7, Wilson R 7 (Hattersley 82), Marshall 7, Wilson S 8 (Gregson 82), Rushton 7, Roberts 6, Farrell 7, Rothwell 6 (Swarbrick 31 7)

Subs not used: Nightingale, Ward

Skelmersdale: Paxton, Mawdlsey, Byrne, Burke, Stickland, Mooney, Lloyd (Almond 65), King (McIntosh 65), Woolcott (Armstrong 65), Wade, Silver

Subs not used: O’Riley, Brocklehurst

Referee: Russ Green

Attendance: 102

Man of the Match: Sam Wilson – A confident performance