Lancaster City boss Mark Fell still pleased with start despite inconsistent results

Lancaster City boss Mark Fell is not too downcast despite watching his men suffer their second successive league defeat on Tuesday night.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 8:00 am
Mark Fell (photo: Tony North)

The Dolly Blues found themselves on the wrong side of the margins against Warrington Town, losing 1-0 at Giant Axe.

That followed a 2-0 defeat to Atherton Collieries the previous week, although City progressed in the FA Cup on Saturday knocking out NWCL outfit Northwich 1874 1-0 in the first qualifying round at home.

That handed them an away trip to Morpeth Town on Saturday week and curiously they face the Highwaymen on their own patch next Tuesday in the league.

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This weekend, they will look to get that winning feeling back when they travel to Basford United.

It has been a strange sort of start for City as after losing 1-0 with 10 men to Whitby Town on the opening day, they then went on a brilliant run of four successive wins, scoring 16 goals to boot.

However, an overall look at their record would indicate inconsistency but Fell believes it is not as clear cut as that.

“Tuesday night was just a game of margins,” said Fell. “It was so tight. There was nothing between ourselves and Warrington, the difference being that they had one moment where they were able to exploit us and get the goal.

“We were probably the better side the last half-hour in terms of territory.

“We kept them pinned in and created a couple of chances but probably didn’t have that one telling chance which we would have taken.

“It was a little bit frustrating but we are probably going to have a few of those marginal games, such is the competitive nature of the competition.

“The first goal is to come out of games unbeaten and come away with something.

“On balance of play a point would have been a fair reflection.

“Football isn’t fair and we are left to rue the fact that we didn’t defend a breakaway as well as we should have done.

“But if you take the Atherton Colls result out of the equation, we have won four and lost two by a very small margin.

“So I think we have had two more points on our total, I think that would be a better reflection of where we are at.”

Fell revealed that there was a distinct possibility that he may look to rotate some of the older members of his squad for the trip to Basford.

The Nottinghamshire outfit play on a 3G plastic surface which is tough physically for the players and it maybe that the players of advancing years feel it the most. “In my opinion, Basford are a top-three side in this division,” said Fell.

“They have huge resources and it’s a long way for us to travel. “They have a 3G pitch which I don’t think does us any harm because I think we have players that can perform well on that surface.

“I think the biggest threats for us is we are playing on 3G pitches all next week – Basford this weekend and then Morpeth twice next week.

“That is going to take its toll on some of the older players because it hurts their bodies. “People like David Norris, Glenn Steel are going to find it tough so I think we will have do a bit of rotation, maybe change things around.”

Meanwhile, veteran striker Matty Blinkhorn has left the club. Recent work commitments have meant that the 36-year-old forward was unable to join up with the squad for pre-season and based on this, there has been a mutual decision that he would not be returning to the club.

He arrived from AFC Fylde in the summer of 2018 and went onto represent City 77 times, scoring 10 goals.