Lancaster City 2-7 Clitheroe

Gavin Clark.
Gavin Clark.

A young Lancaster City side were swept aside by a full-strength Clitheroe in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.

The two Evo-Stik First Division North sides took different approaches to the game with four goals from former Dolly Blue Zach Clark helping put City to the sword.

Darren Peacock fielded almost a full reserve side and the youthful hosts made a shaky start.

First the visitors hit a crossbar before Danny Brady nodded a free header wide.

City stopper Mike Donlon then had to be alert to tip over a free-kick from former Blue Danny Wilkins on the quarter hour.

It was against the run of play therefore that Peacock’s side took the lead on 22 minutes, captain on the night Gavin Clark curling home a fine free-kick from 25 yards.

But that was as good as it got for City as they conceded four goals before the break.

First a Clark header deflected off Kane Winder into the path of former City reserve team player Alex Ralph who fire home to level things up.

Danny Morton then ghosted down the right wing before crossing for Clark to hammer in Clitheroe’s second from close range.

It was 3-1 with time almost up in the half as City squandered possession in their defensive third and Liam Hutchinson completed a clinical counter with a low drive from inside the area.

There was still time for a fourth before the half-time whistle, Clark nearly walking in his second after a mazy run down the right. 
It was five on the hour in a horrible moment for Donlon, the ‘keeper spilling a routine save from Roberto Bonamino’s shot from distance over the line.

Donlon did a good job of redeeming himself with two sharp saves from Clark before the Blues pulled a goal back 20 minutes from time, the ball cannoning around the area before Tom Woods converted from close range.

Clark then completed his hat-trick on 80 minutes from the penalty spot as Clitheroe made it six.

Martin Grundy had done well to hold off Neville Nelson but then gifted the substitute the ball in the area, the big striker being brought down by Donlon as he went to round the goalkeeper.

Clark made no mistake and added a fourth five minutes from the end as he outjumped Grundy and Donlon to head home.

The winger could even have had a fifth late on but hit the bar on a difficult night for City’s youngsters.

Lancaster City: Donlon, Orfally-Alzubaidi, K Winder (Harding), Grundy, Clark, Birch (Hoyle), Taylor (Wearing), Kirkby, Woods, Syson, Pearce. Subs not used: Davis, Bee.