1996-1997 A Season to Remember|
The season of 1996-97 was exceptional. The successes of all teams were a tangible sign of continuous hard work, commitment and enthusiasm for the game. Every member of the Club, from the juniors through to Veterans, was glowing with pride for what was achieved. A breakdown of each teams’ triumphs may give an indication of the breadth of talent and intense interest that lies within the Club.
The 5th team held their own in Division 4, despite rarely fielding the same team each week. The 4th team were promoted into Division 2 as Runners-Up to Lancaster University. The 3rd team remained in Division 1 and had an excellent run in the Lishman Plate competition ending as Runners-Up to a strengthened Nelson 3rd team. The 2nd team consolidated their position in the Premier Division, after a few seasons seesawing from the Premier Division to Division 1. The 1st team won the League and Cup double gaining promotion to the North of England Feeder League.
After a competent 4-1 win in the first match, Lancaster never looked back. A convincing set of results followed, including 4-0 v Poulton and 9-0 v Leyland Motors 2nds, until the first real test of the season; a home fixture against Nelson on November 9th. Despite a verbal, partisan crowd, Lancaster only managed to secure a 3-3 draw, although remained top of the table due to superior goal difference.
The next four games produced a glut of goals with 31 goals scored and none conceded. Confidence was high and even though it was only half way through the season, Lancaster looked good for the title. Success continued after Christmas in the League and the first two rounds of the Lishman Cup (now known as the Caley Trophy) were won with ease.
February 22nd was another milestone as a jittery start to the game (with 3 players stuck in traffic) allowed Chorley to get the upper hand. However, with a change to the regular formation, Lancaster managed to keep their heads and eventually secured another 3 points with two games remaining.
An 11-0 win in the 3rd round of the Cup set Lancaster up for tie with local rivals Morecambe. Lancaster won the game the game 5-0. The final game in the League was, quite fittingly against the other Championship contenders Nelson, who naturally had their supporters out in force for their home fixture and League title at stake. Another controlled and assured performance led to a 3-1 victory and the elusive title belonged to Lancaster.
Both the semi-final and final of the Cup were decided by penalty flicks after coincidentally both games finishing 3-3. Tension was high but the Lancaster nerves held out to win 4-1 and 5-4 respectively. Lancaster won both the League and Cup double. With confidence at an all-time high, a win and a draw over Springfields allowed further progression to the North of England Feeder League.