LANCASTER City chief executive Mick Hoyle reckons that someone upstairs'is smiling down on the Dolly Blues after they got a dream start to life in the UniBond League.

The fixtures handed City the start they wanted with a Giant Axe opener against FC United of Manchester - and that should mean a serious pay day.

The offshoot club of Manchester United - formed by disgruntled fans in the wake of Malcolm Glazer's takeover at Old Trafford - is a real draw with huge travelling support. And Hoyle is delighted.

"The is someone upstairs smiling down on Lancaster City. After everything we have been through and almost ending up on the brink of closure this is just perfect," says Hoyle.

"They get four and five thousand for home games and take about 2,000 away with them so it is a good start.

"And it makes it better because Morecambe are away and the North Lancs League will not have started, so I expect a few floating fans to come through the doors."

The announcement of the fixtures was a timely boost for City, who returned to pre-season training last week.

They play their first game on Tuesday night at Kirkham and Wesham and boss Barrie Stimpson is ready to run the rule over any new players.