Lancaster City camp excited by Bamber Bridge clash

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Mark Fell admits his Lancaster City players couldn’t have a better game with which to close the year this afternoon.

The Dolly Blues haven’t played since a four-game winning run in the NPL Premier campaign ended with defeat to Marine on December 3.

They return to action today when they welcome Bamber Bridge to Giant Axe in their final match of 2022.

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Fell’s players know victory would see them move within six points of a Brig team currently occupying the final play-off position.

Lancaster City boss Mark Fell (photo: Phil Dawson)Lancaster City boss Mark Fell (photo: Phil Dawson)
Lancaster City boss Mark Fell (photo: Phil Dawson)
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As well as looking to climb the league table, there is also the small matter of looking to defeat some familiar faces in the opposition camp.

Fell said: “It’s an interesting game and there’s always going to be a bit about it.

“It’s not just that they’re the fifth-placed club in the league but there are five or six ex-Lancaster players there.

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“I’m sure they’ll be keen to justify their decision but I think there’s always going to be a bit of needle in it.

“I think it will be a fairly attritional game because our pitch isn’t great at the minute.

“The incentive is probably greater for our players than Bamber Bridge’s as we can’t afford to drop three points.”

Twelve points from the last 15 have seen the Dolly Blues climb into 14th position, nine points and as many places behind this afternoon’s opponents.

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At the same time, they are only two points clear of the bottom four with matches against two of those clubs – Stalybridge Celtic and Liversedge – to come in January.

It’s been a tough opening half to the season for City but, with the club’s list of absentees having dwindled, Fell is hopeful of a better 2023.

“The injuries we’ve had have killed us,” he acknowledged.

“We’ve got seven players under contract. All seven have been injured and you’ve got to think of the impact that’s had on the club.

“I’ve never known a season like this for injuries – and they weren’t little injuries either.

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“They were injuries which required medical procedures, so the fact we’ve still got an opportunity (to reach the play-offs) at the halfway stage means we’ve done enough to scramble a par but now we’ve got to kick on.”