Lancaster looking to start 2022 with a bang when they face Atherton Collieries

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Lancaster City boss Mark Fell admits the current Covid-19 situation is less than ideal as his side prepare to face Atherton Collieries at home on New Year’s Day.

City were without six players due to the virus on Monday in their festive derby clash at Bamber Bridge on Monday.

They were also shorn of assistant manager Graham Lancashire who was also isolating at home.

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As a result, City found themselves on the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Brig.

City boss Mark Fell (photo: Tony North)City boss Mark Fell (photo: Tony North)
City boss Mark Fell (photo: Tony North)

“We had six players missing and we had a plan,” said Fell. “But that plan changes the morning of the match when we get two lateral flow tests which are positive.

“I am sure Brig will have had some Covid-19 problems as well. It’’s not ideal but I am sure there must be a better way of dealing with it rather than the way we have to work around it.

“This is how it’s going to be. We are going to have more players who are going to come down with covid.

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“I don’t know the answers but we have come here having to change two players in the morning.

Fell felt his depleted squad were mightily unlucky to come away with nothing from their trip to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Jamie Milligan’s men claimed all three points thanks to second-half goals from Fin Sinclair-Smith and Isaac Sinclair – Andy Teague’s stoppage time goal a mere consolation effort for the visitors.

It was certainly a blood and thunder affair with Brig controlling much of the first half, but City arguably having the better of the second 45 minutes.

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“There’s disappointments in the two goals against Brig and that’s the frustration,” said Fell. “

“Yes, we have got to be more clinical but we can defend the middle of the pitch better and defend the one-versus-ones for the two goals better.

“But we have made some bad decisions at the top end of the pitch where we have generally been good.

“We probably haven’t had the rub of the green but we will just have to dust ourselves off and prepare for the game on New Year’s Day.

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“There are loads for us to take from it and I am disappointed for the lads that they didn’t get anything to show for their endeavour.”

City signed young forward Cian McDermott on a duel registration from Chorley. He started against Brig.

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