Reserves 3-3 Radcliffe Boro
City Reserves earn draw in pre-season test.
Lancaster went into Thursday’s game full of optimism after last week’s remarkable 7-0 victory away at Slyne, Manager Luke Evans commented saying “winning is a good habit to get in to.”
Evans also mentioned what he expected from the Radcliffe side: “They’ll be a tough side, they will be well organised” and “they’re out there to give us a good test”.
We had the opportunity to speak to Reserve team player, Corey, before the game who commented upon how they’ve started coming together as a team. He also mentioned how team chemistry has improved as they had “started to learn how each other plays”.
The game went underway and with a very interesting start as Radcliffe’s manager had to put on the goalkeeper gloves due to a shortage of players, he was tested quite early on as City’s #10 pulled off an impressive scissor kick however the chance sadly came to nothing. The manager was then subbed off as City’s second choice offered to fill in.
In the first half, Radcliffe was really testing the dolly blue’s defence with some counter attack football but they coped well. One attempt did see keeper Hunt have to make a save and subsequently also having to make a save from a Radcliffe free kick.
Lancaster’s strong possession play finally paid off as they went 1-0 up through #11 after a brilliantly struck shot found the bottom corner.
Unfortunately, Radcliffe equalised later on after a lot of end-to-end football saw Radcliffe capitalise after a low cross saw the Radcliffe striker place it in for an easy finish.
There were plenty of saves at both ends for the keepers to make, but City attempted to take the advantage towards half time after making it 2-1, once again through #11 getting his brace; a brilliant burst of pace into the box saw him put in a brilliant strike in the top right corner.
However Radcliffe spoiled the party after equalising late in the first half, after a loose ball went in favour to them, as a side footed finish from outside the box went in bottom corner.
Overall, City was the better team in the first half overall after being fairly strong defensively and only making few errors to then creating some good chances through the midfield and the strikers but they were just being unlucky with some of their attempts. The holding midfielders held their own after being very solid defensively and good attacking wise, seen by Alex Cane making the borough keeper work with a very good effort from outside the box.
The second half started off with a bang with both sides scoring a goal quite early on, Radcliffe took a 3-2 lead first after an attack down their left flank saw them force keeper Lewis Hunt into making a save but unfortunately parried into an opposing striker to score an easy goal – nothing much more the keeper could do.
However City continued to look dangerous in their attack as #17's shot was saved by the Borough Keeper’s legs.
Then City equalised after overlapping right back pulled off a brilliant cross into the box for #7 to head home to level the game.
There were two big fouls in the 2nd half, one resulting in a penalty for Radcliffe, as an unfortunate challenge by the number 3 sees him catch his man resulting in the referee to call for a penalty luckily the penalty ultimately resulted to nothing as the man taking the penalty put it wide.
The second foul came when the Radcliffe keeper ran out his box to try and clear a ball in the air away but ended up fouling Elliot Pond in the process with a knee in his back subsequently stopping play, this happened a few moments after Elliot forced the keeper into making a save after a brilliantly struck close range volley.
Lancaster keeper Lewis Hunt didn’t have much to trouble him late in the second half with a few comfortable saves and clearances to make as the Lancaster defence improved since conceding the 3 goals and looked strong preventing any of Radcliffe’s counter attacks. But there was one moment of worry when a slight mishap at the back saw Lewis Hunt make a slide tackle to put it out for a corner.
In the second half, both teams looked strong and both had improved on their performance in the first half, but ultimately Lancaster were unlucky not to win their last pre-season match after a strong performance.