Four-midable test awaits Lancaster City over next few weeks

Lancaster City boss Mark Fell is quietly confident his men can put the cat amongst the pigeons at the top of the NPL Premier Division.

By Craig Salmon
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 8:00 am

Over the next two-and-a-half weeks, the Dolly Blues have what looks, on paper, to be a daunting task on their hands.

On Saturday, they travel to league leaders Matlock Town before heading to play-off hopefuls FC United of Manchester on Tuesday.

The following Saturday, they host fifth-placed and the current form side in the division Scarborough Athletic before entertaining second-placed South Shields – tipped by Fell to win the title – the following week.

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Lancaster City Mark Fell (photo:Tony North)

Should City emerge from the next four games unscathed, then a play-off tilt is still possible as the majority of their final 10 games are against sides below them in the table.

“I think we are nine points off the play-offs with a game in hand,” said Fell, who watched his team beat Radcliffe 2-1 on Saturday before drawing with Grantham Town on Tuesday night.

“Our season will not be dictated by these next four games.

“If we can get anything from them then you look at our next 10 games, eight of them are against teams below us in the table and the two games against teams above us are both at home.

“It’s going to come down to the last 10 games – it’s going to be a 10-game season for us.

“We have got to stick in there over these next four games and get what we can.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we do well in these next four games.”

Fell was slightly disappointed that his men dropped two points against bottom of the table Grantham although felt the Gingerbreads were worthy of a point.

He said: “We had a lot more possession, a lot more territory but we didn’t penetrate enough. We didn’t create that many really, really good chances. They are fighting for their lives and has the game wore on, they looked the more likely to score on the counter.

“I think they can get out of trouble. If they play like that over the rest of the season, they have a chance.”

From facing bottom, City now prepare take on the top side. This weekend’s opponents Matlock have led the way at the summit of the table for much of the campaign.

“Matlock are a big, strong, physical and industrious side,” said Fell. “But we have got the players who can meet that challenge. The only concern we have is whether Glenn Steel will be fit as he has a hamstring problem.”

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