Lancaster City boss feels 'let down' after Paul Dawson's shock departure from home town club to Bamber Bridge

Dolly Blues boss Mark Fell admits he feels personally let down by midfielder Paul Dawson’s decision to move to Bamber Bridge.
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The Lancaster lad returned to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Friday – the club he left for to join City a couple of years ago – and scored in their 4-1 victory over Witton Albion at the weekend.

Dawson’s defection certainly came as a shock but the City boss felt the news had a galvanising effect on the rest of the squad and they went on to beat the previously unbeaten Buxton on Saturday in the NPL Premier Division.

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Fell was disappointed to see the player go especially after the amount of time he had invested in him.

Mark Fell (photos: Tony North)Mark Fell (photos: Tony North)
Mark Fell (photos: Tony North)

“I was personally very, very disappointed because I have worked very hard with Paul to improve him,” said Fell.

“It was disappointing because I had been told by himself that he was committed to our cause after we rebuffed approaches for him from FC United, Ashton United and Warrington Town.

“But we want players who want to play for Lancaster. If he doesn’t want to play for Lancaster for whatever reason, then that’s up to him.

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“My assistant Graham Lancashire typified our view when he was asked about it in the post-match interview on Saturday.

Paul Dawson on the ball for Lancaster CityPaul Dawson on the ball for Lancaster City
Paul Dawson on the ball for Lancaster City

“He said that we are not here to talk about Paul Dawson; we are here to talk about players who want to play for Lancaster City.

“That’s our focus and we will draw a line under it.

“I will always do everything I can for my players and when you get kicked in the teeth like that, it does smart a little bit.”

Despite the manner of Dawson’s departure, Fell insists that he would love to see the midfielder fulfil his potential and play higher up the football pyramid.

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“You have to accept that these things go on in football and Paul will go and be an excellent player for Bamber Bridge,” he said.

“I hope he goes on to meet his potential.”

Two players who have also left City are young goalkeeper Matty Alexander and striker Brandon Lonsdale.

Alexander – who was borrowed from Bolton Wanderers – played in goal last season before it was prematurely ended due to the Covid-19 pandemic but lost his place to Blackburn Rovers’ loanee Aidan Dowling at the start of last season.

Lonsdale came on loan last month from Rovers and scored the winner in the 2-1 victory over Gainsborough Trinity in the second round of the


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However, it has been decided the best course of action for his career is to return to his parent club.

“Matty saw off our previous No.1 Sam Ashton,” said Fell.

“He started this season off well but had a little drop in form. We took him out to try to get him back to that form and brought in Aidan, who has been excellent.

“It was a case of Bolton wanted him to play every week so we have mutually agreed for him to go back.

“Brandon is a young player and we have been using more of an impact player.

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“He doesn’t quite give us what we need at the moment so it was felt that while he had got a lot out of his time with us, maybe it was time for him to go somewhere else where he was going to play a bit more.”

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