Lancaster City 0-0 Stalybridge Celtic

Lancaster City's Ibram Bakare. Picture: Tony North
Lancaster City's Ibram Bakare. Picture: Tony North

An incredible defensive display by the Dolly Blues saw them hold Stalybridge Celtic to a point at the Giant Axe as both teams had to settle for a 0-0 draw on Saturday.

Lancaster City went into the game unbeaten in their last three games, but it was the visitors who started the brighter.

Stalybridge had a huge chance in the fifth minute as Jonathan Ustabasi had his powerful shot tipped over the City goal by Sam Ashton.

The Dolly Blues’ defence was worked again from a couple of corners before Darius Osei crossed from the left but Craig Hobson couldn’t reach the ball to give the visitors an early lead.

City held their defensive shape well and stopped a huge opportunity for Stalybridge as a Scott Bakkor ball was expertly cut out.

In the 15th minute the visitors should have taken the lead.

Hobson was involved again for Stalybridge as he crossed for Osei but the Celtic man couldn’t capitalise.

The game was going against City early on and they were dealt an even bigger blow when Niall Cowperthwaite went down in the 19th minute and required treatment before being replaced by Bra Carsley in the 23rd minute.

City were just starting to restructure after the change as Stalybridge tried to capitalise with another big chance.

Osei caused the City defence problems as he drove towards the box with the ball and it fell to Ustabasi but Ashton made another good save.

With half time approaching Stalybridge could have taken the lead with another huge chance.

Ross Dent found space on the left-hand side and drove forward with the ball before crossing the ball into Hobson but Ashton was there to make a good save.

The second half started a lot brighter for the Dolly Blues as they had the first chance of the half, with Stephan O’Halloran putting in an incredible block to deny Rob Wilson.

Ustabasi had another chance for the visitors in the 63rd minute but Ashton again made an incredible leaping save to keep the scores level.

City made their second sub of the game in the 71st minute as Jack Evans was replaced by Sam Bailey just after Celtic brought on Harry Freedman to replace Scott Bakkor.

Celtic continued their pressure after the substitutions as Osei cut inside the penalty area and brilliantly curled a shot towards goal but City defended brilliantly to put the ball behind for a corner.

This was the last of the action in what was a fantastic defensive display from City to take a point from an impressive Stalybridge side.

Next up for City is a trip to Stafford Rangers on the December 21 for a 3pm kick off in what is the start of a busy Christmas period for the Dolly Blues.