Lancaster City 0-3 FC Halifax Town

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BILLED AS THE biggest game in recent Dolly Blue history this FA cup tie will be remembered for events off the pitch rather than on it.

Ugly crowd trouble with just seven minutes on the clock forced the referee to take the players off for half an hour before a police presence and a number of fans leaving calmed the crowd.

A mixture of alcohol and idiocy combined to stir up a small minority of City’s biggest crowd this season – the men involved did not even register Halifax’s opening strike on three minutes.

A stand-off on the terraces at the Marsh Road end of Giant Axe quickly escalated into a brawl, with one Halifax fan hospitalised as he fell and cut the back of his head on the stone terraces.

Halifax came to defend and counter and they did it brilliantly, stifling the Dolly Blues and after their early goal they never looked in trouble.

It came from a free-kick whipped in from the left and hooked into the back of the net by defender Brett Renshaw.

The visitor’s back four, left back Danny Lowe in particular, were immense and gave City’s strikers very little breathing space, chances were minimal and when Simon Garner put the visitors ahead just after the half-hour mark the game looked over as a contest.

Concerted pressure from Halifax forced City’s defence back to the edge of their box, a cross from the left fell to Garner inside the box and he finished well with a similar volley to Renshaw’s opener.

See The Visitor (18-10-11) and Lancaster Guardian (20-10-11) for full report.