Lancaster City 0 Bamber Bridge 1: First-half goal sees City beaten

Bamber Bridge took their play-off fight to the final day as Isaac Sinclair’s first-half goal consigned Lancaster City to a third consecutive loss.

By James Wilson
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 4:45 pm

The Dolly Blues’ efforts to deny their county rivals on Easter Monday afternoon were not without merit.

They thought they had equalised after they had the ball in the back of the net late on, only for referee Nathaniel Cox to rule it out.

Before kick-off, Giant Axe’s season-high gate of 623 joined in warm applause for the late George Melling, a highly respected alum of both sides who sadly died last week.

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Lancaster City and Bamber Bridge paid tribute to George Melling before kick-off on Monday Picture: Phil Dawson

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After kick-off, the game settled into a direct, end-to-end pattern with neither team gaining the true ascendancy.

Lancaster came closest to opening the scoring around the 30-minute mark, with the returning Liam Brockbank setting up two opportunities.

He dispossessed the Brig defence before setting up Christian Sloan, who stung the palms of James Aspinall.

Then, he won a free-kick to the left of the box which Rob Wilson whipped onto the inside of the post before it was hacked away by the visitors’ defence.

Glenn Steel, making his 200th City appearance, narrowly headed over from the resulting corner.

Lancaster’s defence hadn’t been too badly troubled until just before half-time.

That was when a long ball found Fin Sinclair-Smith in behind the defence, and he squared to Sinclair for a tap-in.

The second half was a tale of disallowed goals.

Sinclair-Smith had a goal ruled out for offside, while Joe Rodwell-Grant was harshly adjudged to have fouled keeper Aspinall in contesting a header with a little more than 10 minutes to play.

At the other end, Curtis Anderson stood tall to save a one-on-one but Lancaster could not find a valid leveller before the referee called time on the Dollies’ home campaign.

Despite the loss, City confirmed that they could not fall lower than 11th in the table this season, which marks their highest pyramid finish since 2007.

They can finish as high as 10th if they beat Mickleover in the final game of the season and hope Stafford Rangers lose their game against Ashton United.