Shaw Lane 2-1 Lancaster City: Dolly Blues exit FA Cup
The road to Wembley ended with defeat at Shaw Lane for the Dolly Blues in frustrating fashion.
After carving out enough opportunities to at least force a replay from their opponents, uncharacteristic defensive lapses and an ineffective second half display saw them exit the FA Cup at the third qualifying round stage.
Right from the kick-off City were under pressure and only Josh Powell and some fine saves kept the hosts at bay, with a sharp stop to deny Nick Walker’s low drive from just inside the box the best of the match.
The pressure eventually told and the score was opened in disappointing fashion.
Ducks’ forward Damien Reeves was allowed space for a free header at the back post to convert a well-struck cross.
Lancaster then began to fight back and five minutes after going behind Phil Brown’s side were level.
Sam Bailey’s long throw-in was flicked on by the head of Glenn Steel to Scott Harries 10 yards from goal.
The ball bounced away from the winger but Tom Kilifin was in the right place to turn and hit the ball on the slide low into the bottom-left corner.
City’s top scorer then had two chances to give Lancaster the lead, the first brought a routine save from the ‘keeper with a quick-fire shot just inside the box, but the second chance was a potential match winner.
Ducks’ keeper Jon Stewart made a horrible clearance that bounced off the back of his defender and Kilifin beat him to the loose ball and rounded the stranded stopper. The forward didn’t shoot first time and chose to bear down on goal, and by the time his shot was away Neil Austin had made a great recovery run to clear the ball off the line.
The second half wasn’t the best 45 minutes of football ever seen as torrential rain hampered the football of both sides.
The winning goal didn’t come too long after the break, Reeves heading home his own rebound after another good save from Powell. The striker shouldn’t have been allowed the time and space to get two efforts away at goal and it was a lapse that would cost City at least a replay.
Craig Carney’s free-kick that was palmed to safety by Stewart was as close as City came in the second half.
Oliver Wood had a one-on-one chance after playing a great one-two with Harries but fired wide of the target as the game slipped away.
Harries fired the final chance for City straight at Stewart from the edge of the box in the 93rd minute, seconds before the referee blew up to end the Dolly Blues’ FA Cup exploits for another year.
Lancaster City: Powell 8, Hudson 6, Westwood 6, Steel 7, Dugdale 6, Bailey 7, Carney 6, Wills 6, Harries 6, Meulensteen 6, Kilifin 7
Star Man: Josh Powell