Trafford 0-0 Lancaster City

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Lancaster City went into their midweek fixture on the back of a battering at Curzon and in need of an instant rebound to kick-start their season.

Their opponents were high flying Trafford, who sat at the top of the league having amassed twenty goals and conceding only one.

The Dolly Blues were also without injured Joe Bunney with the striking options getting desperate.

Lancaster nearly took the lead in the opening thirty seconds when Dave Swarbrick used his pace to latch onto a long ball over the defence.

The attacker hit a sweet strike from the edge of the box, beat the keeper but not the woodwork, striking the outside of the post.

That was as clear cut as either team came to opening the scoring in the first half.

Trafford were content to Tiki-taka the ball around their back line but surprisingly rarely advanced into the City half.

The visitors’ style of play almost proved costly when Craig Carney intercepted a stray pass and quickly released Tom Kilifin inside the area.

The striker couldn’t get an effort away quickly and could only rebound a shot onto the foot of Carney on the edge of the area.

The midfielder hit a well struck effort that Tom Read in the Trafford goal had to be at full stretch to tip round the post.

Danny McDonald in the Lancaster goal cut a lonely figure in the first half, without a shot on target to save thanks to a solid and hugely improved defensive performance, anchored by the returning Danny Gregson.

The second half was a more entertaining affair, but not due to the slight increase in attacking football displayed.

The match descended into a thrilling and physical battle with tasty tackles and emotions rising as both teams pushed a bit further and harder for that all important goal.

The all important goal, however, never came for either team.

Swarbrick came closest midway through the half after cutting inside the box from the right, but his shot was a touch too central and was well saved by Read.

McDonald in the Lancaster goal watched a few crosses and long range efforts fly over his goal but it was a quiet night for the new number one.

Swarbrick sliced a volley narrowly wide with the last kick of the game as the Dolly Blues amassed only their second point of the season, but one they will feel could have been three on the balance of play.

A hard earned point did cap off an immensely improved display from the Dolly Blues.

They kept the previously prolific Trafford at arms length and were unlucky not to get more reward for their attacking efforts.

The encouraging signs will be a relief for Lancaster fans after Saturday’s result and will breed new confidence for the all important FA Cup clash on Saturday at Giant Axe with Salford City.

Lancaster City: McDonald 6, Wills 7, Gregson 7, Marshall 7, Elderton 7, Wainwright 7, Wilson 6, Carney 6, Rothwell 6 (McKenna 82), Swarbrick 7, Kilifin 7 (Z.Clark 78)

Subs not used: Hudson, G.Clark, Wheeler

Starman: Danny Gregson – A returning rock in the heart of the City defence.