Basford United 1 Lancaster City 0: Lots of chances but Dolly Blues frustrated
Boss Mark Fell was encouraged by Saturday's goalless draw with Rylands but the Dolly Blues could not build on it on Tuesday, losing to the only goal against Basford in Nottingham.
It was amazing that debutant Jordan Hallam's third-minute strike was the only one to bulge the net all evening as both sides produced plenty of chances.
The Northern Premier League encounter was preceded by a minute's silence for Adam Johnson, the Nottingham Panthers ice hockey player fatally injured in a match last Saturday.
Bottom club Basford made a dream start as did new boy Hallam, converting Brodie Litchfield's cross from the left to put the hosts ahead.
Lancaster responded quickly, forcing home keeper Kieran Preston into two smart saves by the 10-minute mark.
Crosses by Sam Bailey set up openings for first Jake Connelly and then Niall Cowperthwaite but both were denied by Preston.
At the other end, Andre Mendes got down superbly to keep Remaye Campbell's header out of the bottom corner and also saved Matt Thornhill's low shot.
And when Massah McDonald got the better of the Lancaster keeper, Charlie Barnes was on hand to clear off the line.
Late in the half, another Bailey delivery was headed wide by Simon Grand and Dolly Blues player of the match Christian Sloane saw his shot deflected off-target.
There was still time before the interval for Preston to save another powerful Cowperthwaite drive and block Charlie Bailey's effort from a quick free-kick.
Both sides continued to show attacking intent after the restart, Brad Carroll volleying inches wide for the visitors and Mendes keeping out McDonald's shot after a driving run.
Charlie Bailey had a shot deflected wide from Barnes' crossfield ball, then in the closing stages Grand headed just wide before the impressive Preston saved from David Norris and Carroll in quick succession.
In eight minutes of stoppage time, Lancaster could not deny Basford a second win of the season which lifts them two places off the bottom, leaving the Dolly Blues 12th on 18 points.
As Fell had predicted, there was no place in his side for Andrew Teague, who excelled against Rylands.
The Dolly Blues boss told the club’s media team after that game: “To get him through two 90 minutes is important and he probably needs that rest before Saturday.”
Fell considered the draw with Rylands “a good point”, adding: “It was two good sides who were really well organised. We marshalled them pretty well and they marshalled us too, so it became a bit attritional.”
Lancaster kept Rylands' Adama Sidibeh quiet and Fell revealed the frontman could have joined the Dolly Blues over the summer.
“Adama came to us in pre-season and we were really keen to get something done, but ultimately he decided to go to Rylands and that's the nature of pre-season.”
One disappointing aspect for Fell was Saturday's crowd of 264. He added: “It's really important to us and we need to get people here.
“Hopefully we'll get a great crowd against FC United of Manchester a week on Saturday but I'm not sure we can do much more than we are.”
First up for Fell's side is a visit to Gainsborough Trinity this weekend.
The home fixture against Whitby Town, postponed last month, has been rearranged for Tuesday, November 28.
Lancaster: Mendes, S. Bailey, C. Bailey, Barnes, Grand, Brownhill, Sloan, Cowperthwaite, Lawson, Carroll, Connelly; Subs: Gallagher-Allison, Holland-Wilkinson, Norris, Turner, Clarke.