Lancaster City 0-0 Northwich Victoria

Busy afternoon for Lancaster City keeper Sam Ashton. Picture: Tony North.
Busy afternoon for Lancaster City keeper Sam Ashton. Picture: Tony North.

Lancaster City kicked off their 2019/20 FA Cup campaign with a 0-0 draw against Northwich Victoria at Giant Axe.

The first half was a quiet but even affair, with both teams restricting each other to only a handful of chances.

City went close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute when a cross from the left was whipped in but Matty Blinkhorn was denied by Vics keeper Dan Taberner, who made a diving save to his right, pushing the goalbound effort to safety.

There was a shout for a Northwich penalty in the fifth minute after Jamie Reed was bundled over in the City box, but the referee waved it away.

Northwich went close in the eighth minute when Ryan Winder curled in a freekick from the left but nobody managed to turn the ball in and City stopper Sam Ashton was able to gather the ball.

Tom Kilifin then drove a shot just wide of the post, while Winder made a great run through the middle of the park but his shot was saved by Ashton.

City had another chance in the 25th minute when Sam Bailey went for goal from distance but his effort went over the bar.

The Dolly Blues then had two more chances to opening the scoring, first Brad Carsley headed wide of the target from close range in a crowded penalty box in the 27th minute and two minutes later Bailey also headed wide as the home side began to knock on the door looking for that opening goal.

On the stroke of half time, Northwich came close to taking the lead though when a corner was palmed out by Ashton and the City defence made a hash of the clearance and when it eventually fell to left back Brendan Barski he was unable to hit the target from a central position just inside the penalty area.

The second half was much livelier than the first withboth teams creating some very good chances.

Northwich went close 10 minutes into the second period when Jamie Reed was found in space inside the box but his dangerous-looking cross across the six yard box was well cut out by Ben Hudson and cleared to safety.

Three minutes later and it was the Dolly Blues’ turn to threaten – Jack Armer crossed from the right and the ball was headed back towards Matty Blinkhorn, who nodded the ball on and found Brad Carsley, but the City number 10 was denied by Taverner, who made an excellent diving save to his right.

From the resulting corner, the ball was curled in towards the far post and headed back across goal where it was met by Carsley again, but his aerial effort went just over the bar and landed on the roof of the net.

The Dolly Blues had another chance in the 62nd minute when Rob Wilson tried to fire a shot goalwards from distance but instead it fell into the path of Blinkhorn just inside the area but he curled his shot well over the bar.

It wasn’t all one way traffic though and in the 65th minute Mike Wilson headed just over from inside the six yard box after an excellent delivery from a corner.

Northwich put City under some pressure late on with Winder firing a freekick from the edge of the box into the wall, but the Blues managed to clear the danger and the two sides could not be separated at the end of 90 minutes.

The replay will be played at Northwich’s Wincham Park on Wednesday night (September 11) with a 7:45pm kick off.