Lancaster City boss: Play-off place would make up for final defeat

Lancaster City's Craig Carney has his penalty saved by Chorley's Sam Ashton. Picture: Paul Currie
Lancaster City's Craig Carney has his penalty saved by Chorley's Sam Ashton. Picture: Paul Currie

A play-off place would make up for Lancaster City’s agonising defeat in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy final according to boss Phil Brown.

The Dolly Blues came within a whisker of upsetting National League North Chorley at the Macron Stadium on Monday night, losing out 3-1 on penalties after a pulsating 2-2 draw in normal time.

Now the focus is back on an assault on the Evo-Stik First Division North top five with City five points back in ninth ahead of Radcliffe Borough visiting Giant Axe on Saturday.

Brown said: “A play-off place would make up for it.

“It’s a cliché but we’ve got eight cup finals to go. We’ve just got to keep going and pick up every point that we can get.

“If the lads can reproduce something near how they played on Monday night then I’m sure we won’t be far away.

“It is difficult though. There’s no leeway now, we’ve used up all our lives. 
“We’ve just got to win as many games as we can and that starts on Saturday with Radcliffe.

“We welcome Danny Johnson to Giant Axe who is a good friend but hopefully we can get three points to stay in and around the play-offs.”

Brown is confident it won’t be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show this weekend with his players well aware of the prize on offer if they can finish the season in style.

The Blues boss said: “If we’d have played poorly on Monday night or hadn’t done ourselves justice then it might have been difficult.

“But the changing room after the game was alright. They know they’ve done alright, they know they’ve been unlucky, they know realistically they were a crossbar away or a goalkeeper’s pair of legs away from causing an upset.

“I don’t doubt their attitude in terms of Saturday coming. They’ll be fine.

“There’s some experienced players in there as well who’ll help. Marshy (captain Neil Marshall) was outstanding on Monday night. He led the team magnificently and he’ll also just nudge one or two others.

“The season’s not over and they’ll want to finish on a high.

“Billy Akrigg said straight after the game, ‘we play Radcliffe on Saturday and we get three points, we keep going and we get in the play-offs’.

“One or two may be a bit tired but mentally they’ll be fine.”