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




Shrimps overcome Lancaster with last-minute winner

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Morecambe 1-0 Lancaster City

Fleming 90

Morecambe defeated local rivals Lancaster City thanks to a last minute winner on a patchy afternoon at the Globe Arena. Andy Fleming scored the only goal of the game for the Shrimps heading home from close-range to seal what was a deserved win.

The game started in a quick manner with both sides looking to play good football. Morecambe were the only side to really come close however in the first half, and they did this on more than one occasion.

20 minutes into the game Morecambe winger Steven Yawson found himself in plenty of space on the left-hand side and his powerful attempt at goal was well saved by Lancaster keeper Chris Cheetham.

Ten minutes later Shrimps veteran forward Kevin Ellison ended up one-on-one with Cheetham, and the visiting keeper impressed yet again – keeping his side in the game with his right leg.

Garry Thompson nearly had his second goal of pre-season shortly before the break but his header on the end of a cross went just wide of the mark. It was therefore goalless at the interval.

Morecambe were straight out of the traps in the second half, and had a whole series of chances – demonstrating their clear dominance. One clear chance came when Alex Kenyon headed over from a corner against his former club four minutes into the second half.

New Shrimps full back Mitchell Lund, who is on loan from Doncaster Rovers, started some good play ten minutes later playing a good ball through to Garry Thompson – who turned and shot straight at the Lancaster keeper.

Lancaster had one of their only chances of the game just moments later. Full back Gavin Clark took the ball from Steven Yawson and resorted to an ambitious shot from long range, which went wide of the goal and didn’t trouble Niall Maher in the Morecambe goal.

Michael Rose and Adam Campbell both came close for the Shrimps shortly after in the 60th and 61st minute respectively. Garry Thompson started a good move for the home side, with a great run on the right-hand side but unfortunately Rose couldn’t come up with the end product – shooting over the bar. Campbell then got the ball in space and looked very comfortable on the ball, but his shot from long range went just wide of the goal.

New signing from York City Vadaine Oliver came off the bench for the home side and had a few chances, but wasn’t much of a threat to Lancaster. He showed good strength, but his finishing wasn’t good enough. The 25-year-old headed over the bar from a cross in the 72nd minute before shooting straight at the keeper three minutes later.

Young midfielder Ben Hedley, who was another Morecambe man to come off the bench, found himself on the end of a corner in the 78th minute and his powerful shot went just over the bar.

Morecambe created plenty of chances in the second half, but it looked like they were never going to score. Reece Deakin worked well on the left-hand side and gifted the ball to Campbell in the 86th minute but his shot was pushed away by Lancaster’s sub keeper.

Jim Bentley’s side got what they deserved four minutes later, when they got a winner through Andy Fleming. Luke Jordan worked well on the right-hand side and put in a great ball that was met by the head of Fleming and beat the keeper.

Therefore Morecambe won the first Bay Trophy match between the two sides, and it is hoped the game between the two sides will become a regular feature of future pre-season schedules.

Morecambe face Preston North End next on Tuesday evening at the Globe Arena.

Morecambe: Maher, Lund (McGowan 63), Trialist (Trialist 63), Kenyon (c), Brough (Conlan 63), Rose (Hedley 63), Fleming, Yawson (Jordan 63), Campbell, Ellison (Deakin 63), Thompson (Oliver 63).

Lancaster City: Cheetham, Henry, Clark, S Bailey, Westwood, Mercer, Howarth, Carney, Tam (C Bailey),Winder, Harries.

Subs used: Sub keeper, Hoyle, Hudson, C Bailey, Shearwood, Creech, Woods, Wood.



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



Dolly Blues’ FA Cup Run Ends With Defeat to Kidderminster

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FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

Lancaster City 2-3 Kidderminster Harriers
Connerton 24       Brown 22,49
Akrigg 45+1        Waite 52

Lancaster’s impressive FA Cup run was ended today by a strong Kidderminster side at Giant Axe today. Andre Brown opened the scoring for the away side 22 minutes in, before Connerton closed the deficit with a swift equaliser. Billy Akrigg scored a stunning goal just in injury time to put the Dolly Blues in front at half time, however second-half goals from Andre Brown and Tyrell Waite meant that it was the Harriers who progressed to the fourth qualifying round.

The game started with much of the battle coming in the midfield, so there were little chances in the first twenty minutes.

Kidderminster’s first chance came nine minutes in, when Elton N’Gwatala hit a hopeful shot over the bar. Twelve minutes later, the National League North side were in front. Lancaster failed to properly defend a corner, and consequently Andre Brown was able to slot home from close range.

The away side’s lead didn’t last long at all however, as just moments later Billy Akrigg found himself through on goal and he gave the ball to Jordan Connerton- who made a good supporting run- and the in-form striker was able to slot home from at the far post to put Phil Brown’s side back on level terms.

Ten minutes later, the home side could’ve taken the lead as Jacob Gregory found an opening on the right-hand side, but unfortunately there was no one making a supporting run to get on the end of his cross.

Kidderminster then had a spell where they looked much more likely to score, with Croasdale shooting straight at the keeper. One of the away side’s better chances came when James McQuilkin found himself one-on-one with Mike Hale, and the keeper was there to make a great save- preventing the rebound by turning and pushing the ball out for a corner.

Hale was forced into a save from Gnahoua five minutes later, the shot coming from long range and the keeper making a good diving save down to his right.

Despite Kidderminster’s domination, it was the home side that went in front at half time. Billy Akrigg tried his luck from around forty yards, and he was rewarded as his shot hit the crossbar and went in- sending the home fans wild. 2-1 was the half time score.

In the second half the away side really took the fight to Lancaster, and they were back on level terms within three minutes. McQuilkin made a good run on the left-hand side, and Andre Brown was there to slot home from the cross- scoring his second of the game.

Five minutes later, the side two leagues above City took the lead again. Tyrell Waite made a good run on the right-hand side and cut inside to blast the ball into the bottom-left hand corner, the shot proving to be to good for Mike Hale.

Kidderminster were fully in control of the game for the vast majority of the second half, and they could’ve had a fourth when substitute Sam Austin found himself clean through on goal, but his shot hit the post.

The game became very physical following this, and Lancaster tried to push for an equaliser in the last ten minutes but they didn’t really trouble the opposition defence, featuring the experienced Keith Lowe.

Lancaster’s man of the match Billy Akrigg had a shot over the bar in the 89th minute, and in the second out of five added minutes at the end of the game City had a shout for a penalty. Croasdale looked to have brought Akrigg down in the box, but the ref didn’t see it that way and play carried on.

The impressive James McQuilkin should’ve scored from close range to seal the victory in the third minute of added time, but his shot was saved by the legs of Mike Hale. Nonetheless Kidderminster got the win, and progress to the next round.

Lancaster City: Hale, Davis, Mercer(c), Westwood, Clark, Gregory (Waters 72), Akrigg, Sumner, Crolla (Wills 57), Mayers (McKenna 61), Connerton.

Subs not used: Thornley, Anderson, Henry, Russell.

Booked: Clark

Kidderminster Harriers: Hornby, Williams, Lowe(c), Tunnicliffe, Francis-Angol, Croasdale, Waite (Carter 73), McQuilkin, N’Gwatala (Austin 65), Gnahoua, Brown (Dieseruvwe 78).

Subs not used: Stamibolziev, Thomas, Palmer.

Booked: Brown

Attendance: 570