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