Lancaster City 1-3 Bamber Bridge

Rob Henry battles for the ball against Bamber Bridge. Picture: Stefan Willoughby
Rob Henry battles for the ball against Bamber Bridge. Picture: Stefan Willoughby
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Lancaster City crashed out of their version of the league cup in the first round after being out played by Bamber Bridge.

In an open game a strong Brig outfit had more flow and danger in the final third than a patched-up Dolly Blues side who didn’t really get going until it was too late.

That being said they also started the much brighter outfit and deservedly took the lead in style with all four goals pleasing on the eye on a cold Tuesday night at Giant Axe.

With 18 minutes on the clock Ryan Winder picked up the ball inside the Brig half and curled a ball into Danny Mahoney in the box who delightfully chested it into the path of Rob Walker, the young midfielder thumping the ball into the top corner.

Not to be outdone it took nine minutes for the visitors to notch their own team wonder strike as some neat football found Curtis Thompson on the left side of the box and he cut inside before curling a delightful effort past Danny MacDonald in the City net.

Ryan Thompson made his full debut at centre-back against his former club and he made some brave interventions and looked confident on the ball.

But after another nine-minute interlude Alistair Waddecar put Brig ahead with a low effort from the edge of the box after some more organised build up.

MacDonald - returning for the rested Mike Hale - was perhaps at fault as he got half a hand to the low effort but he was horribly exposed by his defence and midfield who did not close down effectively.

Going in two down at the break seemed to deflate City after they had started so brightly, yet this was a very experienced Brig line-up, particularly in defence, and they needed more guile and creativity if they were to break them down.

But before they had a chance to showcase that they found themselves conceding yet again.

It was Matty Kay who struck eight minutes after the restart - an unstoppable effort after yet another slick passing move that left the Dolly Blues with a mountain to climb.

They made a fair attempt at the ascent however.

Tom Kilfin came to life on the left beating his man with pace and trickery but didn’t take advantage in the box.

He then came close from a pair of headers that he could only glance over the bar.

City piled on the pressure while inevitably looking ragged and exposed at the back as they gave their all to drag themselves back into it.

They had a decent looking penalty shout denied with minutes to go as Rob Henry drove across the box and had his shirt pulled.

It was a disappointing result for the Dolly Blues but considering their team reshuffle and the strength of the opposition they can take heart that they remained in with a shout for the majority of the game.

Lancaster City: MacDonald 5, Henry 6, Elderton 6, Steel 5, Thompson 7, Winder 6, Hudson 6 (Akrigg 68), Walker 6 (Clark 85), Wearing 6 (Swarbrick 70), Mahoney 6, Kilfin 6. Subs not used: Hunter, Hale.

Bamber Bridge: James, Bowyer, Hastings, Lawlor, Doughty, Kay, Williams, Thompson, Buchan (Bell 73), Waddecar (Reid 82), Marlow. Sub not used: Alexander

Attendance: 121

Referee: David Underwood

Star man: Ryan Thompson - A brave showing against his former club, looks a promising signing