Brown eyes up play-offs

Lancaster City manager Phil Brown (photo: Tony North)

Lancaster City manager Phil Brown (photo: Tony North)

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Lancaster City have the chance to gain ground on a play-off rival on Saturday in the NPL First Division North.

The Dolly Blues to take on Glossop North End, who are currently third in the table – four points ahead of seventh-placed City.

City travel to Derbyshire on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run, which has put them firmly in play-off contention.

Although they have played a few more games than many of their rivals, boss Phil Brown believes his men have hit form just at the right time.

He is, though, under no illusions as to how difficult this weekend’s game will be.

Glossop have been virtual fixtures in the top five all season. They have won eight and lost only two at home,

Brown said: “We’re contenders and they are in the play-offs at the moment. Every game between now and the end of the season is crucial for teams aspiring to get into the play-offs.

“Glossop have had a good season and are strong at home but our away form has been decent.

“We’ve picked up plenty of points on the road and maybe even put in some of our best performances away from home, especially at places like Ossett.

“We’ll be going there with a positive mind-set.”

The 1-1 draw at home to Droylsden on Saturday saw the Dolly Blues slip out of the play-off places.

But Brown was pleased his side picked up a point, with Billy Hasler-Cregg’s penalty ensuring City’s lead lasted a matter of moments after a Zach Clark header.

Brown said: “In the grand scheme of things it’s a good point. It keeps our unbeaten run going in the league and adds to our points tally.”

Brown, meanwhile, is hoping to add a striker to his squad ahead of Saturday’s game.

He is looking for more strength in depth up front with former Morecambe man Danny Carlton taking time out to rehab a troublesome knee injury.

“His knee flared up in training and he’s decided to take some time out to help it clear up,” Brown said.

“It means I’m looking to bring somebody in because we need another recognised striker.”

The build-up to the Glossop game on Saturday has been aided by a free midweek with Bill Akrigg battling an infection and Jacob Gregory still having problems with his hamstring.

Elsewhere in the division, Burscough are away to Harrogate Railway Athletic, while Clitheroe visit Ossett Town. Kendal Town welcome Witton Albion to Parkside Road.