Mark Fell: Lancaster must solve defensive problems

Mark Fell says his Lancaster side have conceded too many soft goals   Picture: TONY NORTH
Mark Fell says his Lancaster side have conceded too many soft goals Picture: TONY NORTH

Mark Fell admits his Lancaster City team must find a solution to their defensive issues if they are to have a successful season.

Mark Fell admits his Lancaster City team must find a solution to their defensive issues if they are to have a successful season.

The Dolly Blues have enjoyed a decent opening to their NPL Premier Division campaign and are handily placed in 11th spot in the table, just a handful of points off the play-offs.

However, Fell believes the start could have been even better if they had not conceded a number of soft goals.

Indeed, a quick glance at their record shows that goals have not been hard to come by, with 13 plundered so far in the league – only five teams in the division have scored more.

Unfortunately, it’s at the other end where the problem lies as a zero goal difference proves.

In fact, only four other clubs have a worse record across the entire division and it was Lancaster’s Achilles heel once again on Saturday as they exited the FA Cup, thumped 5-0 at the Giant Axe by National League outfit Spennymoor Town.

The Dolly Blues slightly redeemed themselves in midweek as they put North West Counties outfit Squires Gate to the sword, winning 6-1 in the Lancashire Challenge Trophy.

Fell said: “We have been scoring three or four goals per game but conceding two or three and that is something we have got to address.

“We have got to have a willingness to stop conceding soft goals. For example, on Tuesday we went 4-0 after half an hour but then conceded another sloppy goal in the 40th minute.

“That ruined it for me at half-time because if we don’t stop conceding these soft goals we will get punished by better opposition.

“It’s going to really hurt us if we don’t rectify it.”

Fell revealed that he may have to delve into the transfer market to strengthen his back line, especially as summer signing Luke Thompson faces a spell on the sidelines after injuring his groin against Squires.

City also have injury concerns over strikers Matty Blinkhorn, Jason Walker and Brad Carsley ahead of this weekend’s trip to Nantwich Town. Rob Wilson is also a doubt after suffering a dead leg.

Elsewhere, Clitheroe welcome Sheffield to Shawbridge in the FA Trophy.

In the North West Counties League Premier Division, Burscough host Padiham and Charnock Richard entertain Congleton.

Longridge are at home to Northwich Victoria.

Garstang face Prestwich Heys in the First Division North.