Dolly Blues aim to cause upset

Phil Brown (photo: Tony North)

Phil Brown (photo: Tony North)

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Lancaster City boss Phil Brown wants his side to repeat their LFA Challenge Trophy final performance in their big FA Cup tie at Giant Axe on Saturday.

The Dolly Blues host a Darlington 1883 side two divisions above them in the second qualifying round with a bumper crowd expected.

Brown has drawn parallels with their penalty shoot-out defeat to Chorley, also of the National League North, at Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium in March as they look to spring a shock this weekend.

The City chief said: “There’s no pressure on us.

“We can use the experience from the LFA final last year and try and put on a really good show in a one-off game.

“We were disciplined, focused and raised our game, which is what we need to do again on Saturday.

“There are some different players here now but the answer is the same.

“We’ve just got to give it our best shot.

“Everybody is really looking forward to it.”

With a rich Football League history, the reformed Darlington are a club back on the rise after financial problems, City having enjoyed some good battles with them in the NPL First Division North a couple of years ago.

A couple of promotions since then, and a strong start to the new season, means the Dolly Blues face a tough task on Saturday against Martin Gray’s seventh-placed side.

Brown said: “There’s a good vibe at Darlo and they are near the top of their league.

“They’ll be bringing plenty of fans but we’ll have some home comforts.

“We’re not frightened or scared, we’ve got a game-plan and believe we can win the game and will just hope it’s our day.”

City head into the game on the back of a battling 2-1 win at Hyde on Saturday, Brown’s side having gone behind to an early Ayrton Bevins goal, before Jacob Gregory and Oliver Crolla struck late on for the visitors.

The City boss said: “We had lots of opportunities to go under.

“We conceded the early goal, we had to get used to the 4G pitch, we lost Billy Akrigg 20 minutes in and had to make an early change.

“Questions were asked but we kept fighting and stayed in the game.

“With the goals we’ve got in the team we’ve always got a chance and it was good to see two midfielders score on Saturday.”

Akrigg is 50-50 for the Darlington game after rolling his ankle at Hyde, while Danny Shearwood is unavailable.

Adam Robinson’s loan spell has ended and he has returned to Preston North End.