Dolly Blues finish 2016 in style with win over Burscough

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Evo Stik League Division 1 North

Lancaster City 3-1 Burscough

Connerton 1, 9       Smith 43

Mayers 24

Lancaster City finished 2016 on a high with a comfortable victory over Burscough tonight thanks to goals from strikers Jordan Connerton and Louis Mayers.

The Dolly Blues took the lead in the first minute, with Jordan Connerton heading home from a pinpoint Billy Akrigg corner.

Just moments later, Connerton’s strike partner Louis Mayers attempted to double the hosts’ lead with two shots going just wide.

It was Lancaster’s number nine who doubled their lead, with his second goal of the night. The experienced centre forward took advantage of the loose ball following a great cross from Oliver Crolla and some poor defending from Burscough to volley the ball into the bottom-right corner in the ninth minute.

The action continued to be in the away team’s half as Phil Brown’s side pushed for a third. Louis Mayers’ flick off the end of Winder’s cross was cleared off the line, and Mayers also forced Cheetham into a save which he lost control of and it hit the post in the 20th minute.

Mayers got what he deserved four minutes later, as he extended Lancaster’s lead. He cut past the full back with ease, and he placed the ball in the bottom-right hand corner beating the keeper.

Winder almost made it four for the Dolly Blues, forcing Cheetham into a great save to the right thanks to the winger’s powerful shot just moments after the goal.

Whilst Nevitt came close for the away side with his shot going just wide on the end of the corner in the 35th minute, Burscough’s keeper was there to make a great stop up at the other end with Cheetham denying Mayers with his legs.

Burscough reduced the deficit just before half time, with the goal coming directly from a corner. Conor Smith curled the ball into the box and it found its way into the top-right corner without a touch from any other players. It was 3-1 at half time.

Lancaster dominated the majority of the second half creating many chances but they didn’t take them.

Craig Carney’s long range shot was pushed wide by the keeper five minutes in, and in the 66th minute Connerton was denied his hat-trick by the crossbar.

The Dolly Blues’ best chance of the half came in added time, when Craig Carney found himself in acres of space in the box and his shot was stopped only by the keeper’s body.

The win means that Lancaster City end 2016 top of the Evo Stik League Division 1 North, level on points with Ossett Town but with two games in hand. Burscough sit bottom of the table on eleven points.

Up next for the Dolly Blues is Bamber Bridge at home on Monday whilst Burscough face Prescot Cables away from home.

Lancaster City: Hale, Birch, Hudson, Westwood, Sumner, Carney, Winder (Wills 64), Akrigg, Crolla, Connerton (Shearwood 77), Mayers (Waters 89).

Subs not used: Fraser-Gray, Raybould (GK).

Burscough: Cheetham, McNally, Holmes, Vaughn-Muscat, Ashburner (Kilonga 83), McPolin, Shinks, Parkes (Smith 22), Lettany (Bademosi 45+1), Akaunu, Nevitt.

Sub not used: Morrow (GK)

Attendance: 195





Cheltenham secure vital win at expense of unlucky Morecambe side

Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 1-2 Cheltenham Town

Murphy 6           Waters 70

Kenyon s/o           Pell 71

Two quick goals in succession from Billy Waters and Harry Pell ensured Cheltenham came from behind to get a crucial win in what was a dramatic game at the Globe Arena today.

Despite being forced to make an early substitute, with Liam Wakefield coming off injured, Morecambe started the game well and they took the lead just six minutes in. The Cheltenham defence gifted the ball to Rhys Turner in a threatening position, and the former Oldham forward had a good shot saved by the keeper only for Peter Murphy to score the rebound- burying the ball in the bottom-right corner.

There were little chances in the first half although Morecambe did dominate. Paul Mullin headed over the bar just after Murphy’s goal and then he hit the ball straight at the keeper in the 20th minute.

A major turning point occurred in the game just before half time however. Alex Kenyon appeared to be brought down, but instead the referee sent Kenyon off rather than the Cheltenham player. Manager Jim Bentley, who had an excellent view of the incident, appeared to be absolutely fuming at the referee, and he was sent to the stands as a result.

Billy Waters shot just wide for the away side shortly before the fourth official indicated there were five minutes of added time. When the whistle blew for half time, the referee was met with loud boos and Morecambe weren’t in the best of positions despite being 1-0 up.

By the start of the second half, the Shrimps had already used their three subs- Liam Wakefield, Rhys Turner and Peter Murphy all coming off injured- and they were down to ten men so it looked as though it was going to be a challenging second half.

It was exactly that, as the Shrimps played deep and looked to sit on their lead. They were looking comfortable at the back, with Winnard and Edwards both defending well.

Billy Waters found himself through on goal for the away side in the 50th minute, but Winnard managed to stop him in his tracks with an excellent piece of defending.

Eight minutes later Robert Dickie forced Barry Roche into a good save following a good header from a corner.

Cheltenham continued to pile the pressure on the Shrimps, with Jack Munns’ shot going just wide after taking a deflection in the 70th minute. The away side were threatening from set pieces, and this worked to their advantage as Morecambe failed to defend the resultant corner (from Munns’ shot) sufficiently- with Billy Waters consequently slotting home from close range to get the Robins back in the game.

Morecambe’s defence appeared to be half-asleep at this moment in time, and as a result Gary Johnson’s side were in-front shortly after their first goal thanks to Harry Pell’s close range header from an excellent cross.

Despite having little to offer going forward, the home side upped the anti towards the end of the game. Aaron McGowan made a good run in the 81st minute, but his shot went wide of the goal.

Morecambe pushed men forward, and with little possession this meant that they looked more vulnerable at the back allowing the Robins more space.

Harry Pell almost made it three for Cheltenham, but his shot was tipped over by Roche in the 84th minute after taking a deflection.

Their final chance came when Koby Arthur found himself in acres of space, and Roche made a vital save in the 88th minute.

Morecambe move down to 19th as a result of the defeat, and face Mansfield Town away on Boxing Day next whilst Cheltenham move up to 23rd and will face Barnet at home next.

Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield (Fleming 5), Winnard, Edwards, McGowan, Rose, Murphy (Molyneux 45), Kenyon, Conlan, Turner (Massanka 31), Mullin.

Booked: Mullin, Sent off: Kenyon.

Subs not used: Nizic and Jordan.

Cheltenham Town: Griffiths, Downes(c), Parslow, O’Shaughnessy (Arthur 65), Dickie, Storer, Pell, Munns (Barthram 72), Cranston, Wright (Morgan-Smith 59), Waters.

Booked: Cranston.

Subs not used: Kitscha, Rowe, Bower and Thomas.

Attendance: 1,297



Dolly Blues take three points on cold December afternoon


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Evo Stik League Division 1 North

Lancaster City 1-0 Hyde United

Carney 77

Lancaster City enhanced their promotion credentials today as they got past Hyde United, in what was a scrappy game. Craig Carney scored the only goal of the game, getting the ball in the box unmarked and firing at goal with the help of a Hyde defender on the way in.

The home side had a promising start to the game with Simon Wills latching onto the end of a good ball from Gregory, only for his shot to be go straight at the keeper four minutes in.

In spite of the Dolly Blues’ good start, Phil Brown’s side were really there for the taking as the looked weak at the back.

It was Hyde United who had the majority of the chances in the first half but they didn’t take them well.

The away side had a very good chance in the 21st minute, and it should’ve gone in. Big Khamsuk pounced on Westwood’s defensive mistake, and his pass beat the keeper but Bishop’s shot was prevented by a vital stop from Wills.

Hyde came close again in the 30th minute with some good attacking play. Dan Pilkington had an impressive volley but it went just wide, with City looking shaky at the back.

Lancaster’s best chance of the first half came in the 36th minute when Ryan Winder headed onto the top netting, after a good ball in from the right. Ricky Mercer had a free header from a corner shortly afterwards, but his attempt went just wide.

To be brutally honest, it was a poor first half in all fairness- and the scoreline certainly reflected this: 0-0 at half time.

Hyde’s only chance of the second half came in the 55th minute when Andy Bishop’s volley forced Mike Hale into a good diving save to his left.

Lancaster really upped their game in the second half, and took control of it. They looked stronger at the back, and Hyde paid the price for their missed chances in the first half.

Ryan Winder hit the ball just over the bar in the 67th minute following some good work on the left-hand side by Adam Sumner, and then ten minutes later Phil Brown’s men were in front. Substitute Oliver Crolla did very well on the left flank to get past his man and he played an immaculate ball to Craig Carney in plenty of space- whose shot beat the keeper with the help of a Hyde defender.

Carney could’ve put the game to bed in the 86th minute, with some good ball control but his attempt went just wide.

There were moments of nervousness towards the end as Hyde looked for an equaliser, but they didn’t really get past the back line and Lancaster deserved the win in the end.

The win means that the Dolly Blues move up to second place, two points off the top and with five games in hand on league leaders Scarborough. Up next for Lancaster is Ramsbottom United away from home on Tuesday night.

Lancaster City: Hale, Wills, Westwood, Mercer(c), Sumner, Gregory (Crolla 63), Carney, Akrigg, Winder, Waters (Hudson 56) Mayers.

Booked: Craig Carney

Subs not used: Raybould, Clark, Henry.

Hyde United: Saunders, Harrison, Jones(c), Coates, Heathcote, Burke (Branker 90), Pilkington, Dempsey (Bevins 81), Lipka, Khamsuk (Boyle 81), Bishop.

Subs not used: Haydock and Ellison.

Attendance: 203