After an even contest at the Giant Axe on Tuesday night, City and FC United of Manchester were forced to share the spoils, as neither team could find the back of the net. The dollies would have been happy with their second half performance, creating many chances and putting United on the backfoot, which they struggled to do in the first half.
Sam Ashton, the man between the sticks, said he was delighted that Lancaster prevented the away side from scoring, especially with the presence of deadly forward; Tunde Olowabi.
“I’ve played against him a few times and he’s a good player. But he didn’t get a sniff with Thomo (Luke Thompson) and Steely (Gleen Steel) at the back. They controlled him all game” said Ashton.
Both sides were battling to get the edge in the first half, and United ended up doing that. City came out and put on a physical display against the away side, making their presence known early on. Niall Cowperthwaite in particular ran the middle of the park very well with some crunching tackles.
Despite United carrying more of a threat than City did in the first half, Ashton still felt that him and the back four were comfortable.
“FC started lively which we knew would happen” Ashton said.
“I know it looked like FC were the better side in the first half, but I don’t remember having to make a save” explained the shot stopper.
“I felt the lads in front of me were more than comfortable with what they had to deal with.”
City pushed on in the second half and opened the United defence up on a number of occasions. Jason Walker came close to finding the top corner with a sublime curling effort, whilst Jack Armer came just as close after missing a close-range header from a Rob Wilson cross. Ashton felt the lads were unlucky not to find the back of the net.
“I thought we started strongly in the second half and we had three chances where we really should be hitting the back of the net or making the ‘keeper work” said Ashton.
Thanks to City’s valiant efforts on the night, the dollies remain unbeaten in three league games and now sit in 7th place in the BetVictorNPL, with just four points between them and
the top spot. It may not have been three points, but Ashton believes that there are many positives to take from the performance.
“You can’t really argue with the result. I thought United were the better side in the first half and we were the better side in the second half” explained Ashton.
“I said at the end of the game that we weren’t at our best, but we didn’t lose and didn’t concede any goals and that makes us unbeaten in three games now. We have to take the positives out of it and now we can build on that.”
City will take a break from league action this weekend, with the club playing against Northwich Victoria at the Giant Axe on Saturday at 3pm in the Emirates FA Cup. City then return to league duties when they face South Shields away on September 10th at 7:45pm.