Lancaster City 4-0 Stockport County XI

Charlie Russell. Picture: Tony North

Charlie Russell. Picture: Tony North

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Lancaster City opened their pre-season campaign with a comfortable victory against a young Stockport County XI at Myerscough College on Tuesday night.

A hat-trick from the returning Charlie Russell and a Terry Cummings strike saw Phil Brown’s men triumph in an entertaining friendly affair which saw both sides play some good flowing football.

With nine players missing due to a combination of injury, work commitments and holidays, City would have been forgiven for making a sluggish start to their friendly fixtures but that wasn’t the case.

Russell went closest to opening the scoring early on, rattling the inside of the post with an effort from the edge of the box.

New signing Louis Mayers and Billy Akrigg also went close as City pressed for an opening in an intense and high-energy opening half.

The scoring was opened for Lancaster when Russell hit home from the penalty spot just before half-time to ensure Brown’s Blues went into a deserved lead.

The second half was then dominated by City as both sides made numerous substitutions that helped to maintain the energetic nature of this pre-season encounter. Russell got his second with a fine shot from 25 yards that found the bottom left corner of the net with precision.

He then wrapped up his hat-trick with another fine penalty after substitute Cummings was bundled over in the box.

Lancaster’s fourth goal was the pick of the bunch as neat one-touch passing play fed in Cummings who neatly poked the ball home from close range to wrap up an encouraging first display of the summer for the Dollies.

Brown was pleased with what he’d seen at the final whistle.

He said: “We had a lot of lads unavailable for one reason or another but it was a good workout for us.

“The players got time under their belts which complemented the time they’ve had on the training ground.

“It was a good night’s work.”

Lancaster City: Hale, Hudson, Mercer, Anderson, Livingstone, Gregory, Wills, Watson, Akrigg, Russell, Mayers.

Star Man: Charlie Russell - Almost looks like a different player on his return to the club.