Lancaster City get back to winning ways with 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Sutton Coldfield

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The Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division

Lancaster City 2-1 Sutton Coldfield Town

Carney 33              Smith 85

S Bailey 45

Lancaster City picked up their first win in six games today with a 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Sutton Coldfield Town in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division at Giant Axe.

Captain Craig Carney and winger Sam Bailey netted for the Dolly Blues in the first half before substitute Lee Smith pulled one back for the visitors towards the end of the game.

Preston loanee Connor Simpson, who featured for the Lilywhites at Villa Park just over a month ago, made his home debut for Lancaster while Billy Akrigg and Tom Kilifin received awards for making over 200 appearances for the club.

Sutton Coldfield, who sit at the bottom of the table, were looking for their first win in four games.

It was a fairly even start to the game, but Lancaster had most of the chances in the first half and they soon got on top.

Nine minutes in, Simpson could’ve opened his account for the Dolly Blues but he put the ball wide following Billy Akrigg’s pinpoint cross.

Chances were few and far between for much of the first half until Lancaster took the lead in stunning fashion in the 33rd minute. Carney hit the ball high on the volley and it looped over the keeper and into the top-left corner.

Ten minutes later the hosts came close again after full back Paul Dugdale made a good run on the left and put the ball through to Kilifin whose effort went just wide.

Lancaster doubled their lead on the brink of half time when Akrigg’s impressive ball met the head of Sam Bailey at the far post and beat the keeper.

Sam Bailey linked up with his brother Charlie in the 66th minute with a great ball but the latter could only fire wide of the mark.

Sutton Coldfield substitute Niall Flint had two chances in the 71st and 81st minute respectively – the first going wide and the second saved by keeper Elliot Wynne with ease.

The visitors did put up a bit of a fight in the final ten minutes, and in the 85th minute they got a goal back through Smith.

Veteran forward Justin Richards had a close-range header denied by Wynne and then Smith volleyed home powerfully in the top-corner on the end of the resultant corner.

However the side from the Midlands failed to complete their comeback, meaning Lancaster got the three points.

Lancaster City: Wynne, Anson, Steel, Mercer, Dugdale, S Bailey (Winder 79), Wills, Carney (c), Akrigg, Simpson (Williams 72), Kilifin (C Bailey 63).

Booked: Anson and Winder

Subs not used: Hudson and Jarvis

Sutton Coldfield Town: Coton, Lyttle (Smith 54), Beresford, Probert (Dell 45), McGrory, Murray, O’Callaghan, Green (Flint 63), Hawley, Richards.

Unused sub: Brown

Attendance: 217


Hednesford edge poor game at Giant Axe

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Evo Stik Northern Premier League

Lancaster City 0-1 Hednesford Town 

Oji 74

A 74th minute header from Sam Oji earned Hednesford Town a 1-0 win at Lancaster City in the Evo Stik Northern Premier League today.

With both teams looking to end 2017 on a high, Lancaster came into the game unbeaten in their last two while Hednesford, who sat one place above the hosts in 10th ahead of the game, were in very good form having lost just once in their last seven games.

It was an uneventful start to the game, and the first real chance came for the visitors 16 minutes in when James Fitzgibbon found an opening on the left and forced a good save from Chris Cheetham with his legs.

Seven minutes later, Lancaster came incredibly close when Glenn Steel’s header on the end of Ryan Winder’s corner was cleared off the line.

Paul Jarvis then came close for the hosts in the 32nd minute when he headed just wide on the end of Rob Henry’s pinpoint cross.

Hednesford managed to hit City on the break two minutes later with a great run from Fitzgibbon before Mason Walsh’s shot was blocked following some scrappy defending.

Lancaster’s best chance in the second half came in the 49th minute when Tom Kilifin’s shot went straight into the hands of James Wren after a good ball from Gavin Clark.

Seven minutes later, Walsh came incredibly close for the visitors when his long range strike hit the post with the City defence not making much of an effort to stop him.

Hednesford came close in the 70th minute when Oji’s free header from a corner forced a great reflex save from Cheetham to his right at close range.

Oji then put the visitors in front four minutes later when he headed home at the far post from James Lawrie’s excellent free kick.

Lancaster threw men forward as they looked for an equaliser with time running out, but they failed to threaten Hednesford, who went home with the three points and move up to 9th as a result.

Phil Brown’s side move down to 13th following today’s result and face Stalybridge Celtic away from home on Monday.

Lancaster City: Cheetham, Henry (Akrigg 84), Steel, Mercer, Clark, Wills, Carney (c), Jarvis, Winder (C Bailey 78), Kilifin, Williams (S Bailey 71).

Subs not used: Dugdale and Hudson.

Hednesford Town: Wren, Mendez-Jones, Oji, Gatter, Curley, Fitzpatrick, Thorley (c), Walsh (Graham 74), Lawrie (Taylor 90+3), Fitzgibbon (King 81), Butlin.

Booked: Butlin

Subs not used: Mbunga and Mutton.

Attendance: 345




City and Warrington share points on glorious summer’s evening at Giant Axe

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Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Lancaster City 2-2 Warrington Town

Clark 66, 90+3       Jerome 12

Hine 80

A late goal from Gavin Clark meant that Lancaster City shared the points with Warrington Town in their first home game of the season at Giant Axe. The visitors took the lead early on through Ruben Jerome. Clark cancelled out Jerome’s goal 20 minutes into the second half with a good effort from the left, before Josh Hine regained the away side’s lead with a preventable header. Gavin Clark then got his second of the game in the third minute of added time, with a brilliant effort to secure a point for Phil Brown’s side.

The first half was all Warrington’s as it was full of chances for the visitors. In the sixth and 11th minutes respectively, they had free kicks in very similar positions. The first one was headed wide on the end of it by James McCarten and the second forced keeper Chris Cheetham to tip Tony Gray’s header over the bar.

Moments later, the Cheshire side were in front through Ruben Jerome. Liam Hynes worked really well on the right to beat Gavin Clark and he played a cracking ball to Jerome, who was able to bury it past the home keeper with the defence not able to track his run.

Tony Gray nearly doubled the visitors’ lead in the 15th minute with a good-looking volley but it went wide of the mark. Lancaster defender Josh Westwood then had a lapse in concentration as he headed backwards and it nearly beat his keeper. Instead it went out for a corner.

Chances were few and far between for the next 20 minutes or so in the game until Josh Hine came close again. The winger cut in from the right-hand side after beating Clark with ease, and his shot forced a brilliant save from keeper Chris Cheetham to his right.

Warrington Town led 1-0 at half time.

Lancaster started the second half better than they did the first, but the half wasn’t without Warrington chances. Oliver Wood managed to get past ex-City keeper Tony McMillan with a lob two minutes in but it was covered by the visiting defence. Ruben Jerome then nearly doubled the visitors’ lead but it was cleared off the line by Gavin Clark, shortly before Wood was denied by the Warrington keeper to the left and the ball was cleared away.

Ten minutes later, Billy Akrigg’s attempt went over the bar but then in the 67th minute Lancaster had an equaliser coming from an unlikely source. Left-back Gavin Clark beat his man and then his long-range effort beat McMillan to his right.

Warrington were back in front around twenty minutes later through Josh Hine. The winger took advantage of the loose ball and headed past Cheetham – who was off his line.

New Lancaster shot-stopper Chris Cheetham appeared out of his box more than once, and he nearly conceded another goal as a result. Substitute Dylan Vassallo attempted to exploit the keeper’s vulnerability off his line, but his effort went over the bar.

Lancaster’s best chance without scoring came in the 84th minute. Billy Akrigg’s pinpoint corner reached the head of captain Ricky Mercer who could only head onto the post.

Phil Brown’s side piled on the pressure in the last five minutes of the game. Substitute Hannu Tam found himself one-on-one with McMillan in the 87th minute but he was prevented from taking a shot.

Gavin Clark headed over from a corner in the second minute of added time, but he made up for this later on with a brilliant goal. Similarly to his first goal, the former Morecambe trainee made a great run along the left flank before striking the ball brilliantly with his right-foot into the top-left corner to send the home support wild and grab a late point.

The result means that Lancaster move up to 5th ahead of their clash at home to Mickleover Sports on Saturday whilst Warrington are 4th ahead of their trip to Coalville.

Lancaster City: Cheetham, Steel, Westwood, Mercer(c), Clark, Wills, Winder, Akrigg, S Bailey (C Bailey 57), Harries (Tam 85), Wood (Kilifin 85).

Subs not used: Dugdale and Sumner

Warrington Town: McMillan, Richards, McCarten, Goulding, McKeown, Williams, Hine, Hynes (Vassallo 72), Hughes (Mwasile 63), Jerome, Gray (Barnes 54).

Subs not used: Ashcroft, Carden.

Attendance: 260




Bamber Bridge’s Unbeaten Run Ends With Heavy Clitheroe Defeat

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Evo Stik League Division 1 North

Bamber Bridge 1-4 Clitheroe
Milligan 13 pen   Williams 5                                     
                  Newby 24,64, 77 pen

Bamber Bridge ended their unbeaten run of 6 league games, with a heavy defeat at home to Clitheroe today. Tom Williams opened the scoring for the away side, with Bamber Bridge failing to clear their lines following a corner whilst Jamie Milligan equalised from the penalty spot before Alex Newby went on to score a hat-trick to seal the win for the East Lancashire side.

The game started with both sides having early chances, but the away side looked more likely to put their noses in front. Dimitri Tuanzebe found himself one-on-one with Bamber Bridge keeper Steven James four minutes in, and the striker beat James but his attempt was cleared off the line by Michael Potts.

The resultant corner led to the opening goal of the game. Gareth Roberts’ header from the corner hit the crossbar, and Tom Williams headed home soon after as a result of the home side’s poor defending.

Four minutes later Alex Newby came close for Andy Haworth’s side, shooting just over the bar on the end of a corner. However, it was the home side who scored the next goal, and it came from the penalty spot. Regan Linney was brought down by visiting keeper Chris Thompson in the box, and Jamie Milligan converted the resultant penalty- burying the ball in the bottom right-hand corner to put the home side back on level terms.

Bamber Bridge almost took the lead in the 20th minute when Michael Potts found himself with the ball in a good position, but his shot went just wide of the mark.

Clitheroe got themselves a free kick 25-yards out in the 24th minute, and it was taken impressively with Alex Newby curling the ball over the wall into the top left-hand corner to put the away side back in front.

The rest of the first half was fairly even, with little chances to note other than that of Regan Linney, whose shot was well blocked by the Clitheroe defence shortly before the break.

The away side were leading 2-1 at the half time break.

Clitheroe made a good start to the second half with Alex Newby heading just wide four minutes in.

Bamber Bridge had one of their only chances of the half in the 62nd minute, with Glenn Steel heading wide from a cross.

Clitheroe extended their lead two minutes later, with a well-worked goal. The away side hit Bamber Bridge on the break, with Alex Newby making a good run on the wing before cutting in from the left and placing the ball coolly past the keeper, who couldn’t prevent the goal despite getting a hand to it.

Roughly five minutes later Clitheroe struggled to defend a Bamber Bridge corner, and centre-half Matt Lawlor had a shot at goal for the home side but it was blocked by the Clitheroe defence.

Kitt Gregory’s ambitious attempt for the home side went wide in the 74th minute, and the away side had a penalty a couple of minutes later.

George Bowyer brought down a Clitheroe player in the box, and Alex Newby beat the keeper with a shot in the left hand corner to earn what was a well-deserved hat-trick  for the striker.

Ten minutes later, Andy Haworth’s side could’ve made it five with Stavros Tserpes having a shot stopped by James, preventing the score-line from look any worse for Bamber Bridge, who sat in 2nd position before the game.

The result means that Bamber Bridge move down to third in the league table, whilst Clitheroe move up three places to fifth position.

Bamber Bridge: James, Steel, Hunter, Lawlor(c), Bowyer, Potts, Gregory, Dodd (Wilson 82), Vasey (Bell 58), Milligan, Linney (Marlow 58).

Booked: Gregory, Dodd and Wilson

Subs not used: Doughty and Wiles

Clitheroe: Thompson, Bromley, Walker, Roberts, Brady(c) (Smith 81), Rowlands, Mitchell (Knox 79), Carroll, Williams (Tserpes 46), Newby, Tuanzebe.

Sub not used: Paulat-Brigg

Attendance: 308