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




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





Lancaster Cause Upset In Entertaining FA Cup Tie

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FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying

Lancaster City 2-1 Darlington 1883
Gregory 48         Purewell 80
Connerton 76

Evo Stik Division 1 North side Lancaster City beat National League North side Darlington 1883 in a very exciting FA Cup tie at Giant Axe today.

Jacob Gregory opened the scoring for the home side three minutes into the second half, whilst he was backed up by a controversial Jordan Connerton goal and Darlington got one back through Amar Purewell in the 80th minute to set up an exciting finish.

The game started with end-to-end football, and the first real chance came six minutes in when Nathan Cartman had a shot over the bar for the visitors.

Five minutes later, the home side had their first chance of the game with Louis Mayers- whose header went just wide of the goal.

Following two notable chances in the first ten minutes, the game spiced up a bit with the away side being reduced to ten men. Captain Gary Brown was sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity (last man) when he brought Jordan Connerton down just outside the box in the 15th minute.

Two minutes later Darlington could’ve had another sending off as Mark Beck went in late on Ricky Mercer, but luckily for the former Carlisle striker he only got a booking.

The consequential free kick for the home side was unsuccessful, and unfortunately for them they were reduced to ten men themselves. Similarly to Gary Brown for the away side, centre-half Jacob Davis was sent off for a last-man challenge in the 25th minute, so both sides were level with regards to numbers again.

Just moments later Darlington had their best chances of the game so far, as Mark Beck headed onto the crossbar and then he had another header that was tipped over the bar by Mike Hale.

This was followed by Lancaster’s biggest chance of the game so far, eight minutes on, when Louis Mayers forced Wollston into a save and Jordan Connerton’s rebound was cleared off the line.

Mayers almost took the lead again five minutes later, when Gregory put a great ball into the box but unfortunately the forward couldn’t connect with it from close range. Surprisingly, it was goalless at half time.

It wasn’t goalless for long in the second half however, as Jacob Gregory opened the scoring three minutes in with a great run on the right-hand side, smashing it past Newcastle loanee Paul Wollston into the top corner to put the underdogs in front.

Darlington had the majority of chances in the second half, and it was a backs to the wall job for the home side as they ended up playing with just one man up front (Jordan Connerton).

Mark Beck headed straight into the hands of Hale in the 57th and 69th minutes respectively, and Terence Galbraith also had an ambitious shot straight at the keeper in the 70th minute.

Jacob Gregory found himself one-on-one with the keeper again in the 73rd minute, and this time he was denied by Wollston in a chance he really should’ve put away.

Three minutes later Lancaster doubled their lead through Jordan Connerton. The striker got past both the defence and the keeper, who raced out of his box, and Connerton was able to put the ball into an open goal. The away fans were outraged as the former Kendal striker appeared to be offside, but the goal stood.

Moments later, the Darlington defence had a scare as the keeper’s clearance bounced back off a defender, and then a defender’s clearance deflected off Gregory and the ball only just went wide.

The away side did give themselves a chance to get something from the game, as substitute Amar Purewell headed home from close range in the 80th minute following a brilliant cross by Stephen Thompson on the right-hand side.

This set up a very tense and exciting final ten minutes, and the away side really took the game to Lancaster but Mike Hale was well on top of his game.

Purewell had another header denied by Hale to his right in the 84th minute, and a good ball from Thompson across the goal was somehow stopped by Hale five minutes later.

Mark Beck then headed over from a cross in the 90th minute, and there was four minutes of added time. Cartman even went for an overhead kick, but it was saved by Hale yet again. There was a series of corners in the dying moments of the game, and Galbraith’s header would’ve gone in had it not been for an excellent last ditch save by Mike Hale, who never looked like conceding a second goal.

Up next for Lancaster City, who progress to the third round of qualifying, is Ramsbottom at home in the league on Tuesday night.

Lancaster City: Hale, Hudson (Henry 83), Mercer(c), Davis, Clark, Willis, Crolla (McKenna 71), Gregory, Sumner, Mayers (Westwood 58), Connerton.

Subs not used: Anderson, Raybould, Russell.

Sent off: Davis

Darlington 1883: Wollston, Marrs (Purewell 66), Galbraith, Brown(c), Watson (Thompson 54), Falkingham, Portas, L.Scott, Hardy (Hunter 20), Beck, Cartman.

Subs not used: Robinson, Mitchell, Nowakowski, H.Scott

Booked: Beck

Sent off: Brown(c)

Attendance: 580

Z Clark Scores Four As Lancaster Thrash Ossett Albion

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Lancaster City 6-1 Ossett Albion

Z Clark 2, 61, 66, 82 Brunt 15
Akrigg 58
Langford 90

Lancaster won for the first time in nearly a month today with a big win against fellow play-off hopefuls Ossett Albion in a game full of goals, as the scoreline suggests.

Phil Brown’s side made an excellent start to the game, as Zach Clark found himself one-on-one with Brett Souter in the Ossett goal. His first shot was saved by the legs of the keeper, but he soon netted the rebound without much opposition from the Ossett defence.

Just minutes later the away side grew into the game and looked very impressive going forward, making some quick passes and playing some free-flowing football. They came very close to equalising in the 11th minute when young right-back Declan Dawson hit a powerful shot from around forty yards out, hitting the cross bar and bouncing out. It had all but beat Mike Hale in the Lancaster goal.

Four minutes after Dawson’s spectacular shot, Ossett got the equaliser they’d been looking0 for after Connor Brunt found space and slotted the ball past Mike Hale six yards out.

Zach Clark almost restored the lead of the home side but his 22nd minute shot went just wide. The remainder of the first half was very evenly matched with both sides having chances,  and consequently the two sides went in level at the break with it still all to play for in the second half.

City started the second half brightly, and had some early chances with Jacob Davis heading just over the bar following a Ryan Winder corner in the 52nd minute.

Five minutes later the home side took the lead for the second time of the day, after Billy Akrigg got past Ossett’s defence and rounded the keeper before slotting the ball into an open net.

Shortly afterwards City doubled their lead through striker Zach Clark, who shot from the left hand side just before going to ground.

The former Kendal man was looking hungry for goals, and got his hat trick in the 66th minute to extend the home side’s lead to three goals.

Clark wasn’t finished there though, as he found enough energy to score his fourth and Lancaster’s fifth of the game in the 82nd minute. Ossett struggled to contain the attacking threat that the striker posed for the majority of the game, and the body language of captain Danny South summed up Ossett’s day.

New signing Bobby Langford came on as a substitute and impressed in his first appearance for the Dolly Blues, scoring the final goal of the game in the 90th minute to give the City fans a good first impression.

Phil Brown’s side now sit in 9th, two points off the play-offs, and travel to Harrogate Railway next Saturday.

Lancaster City: Hale, Gregory, Marshall(c), Mercer (G Clark 44), Davis, Watson, Winder, Carney, Akrigg, Carlton (Langford 67), Z Clark (Shearwood 84).

Subs not used: Cummings and Rodgerson

Ossett Albion: Souter, Dawson, South (c), Nicholson,  Thompson, Sharry (Jones 69), Muller (Hardaker 59), Paylor, Matthews, Eyles (Bordman 74), Brunt.

Subs not used: Potter and Lyn

Booked: Dawson

Attendance: 222









Lancaster Suffer Blow As They Fall To Trafford

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Lancaster City 0-1 Trafford

                 Palmer 31

Lancaster suffered another blow to their play-off hopes with a defeat against mid-table Trafford.

Chris Palmer scored the only goal of the game to secure the three points for the Greater-Manchester side.

To start with the game was very end-to-end, with both sides having chances. Trafford had a corner after just three minutes, and Neil Marshall headed just over the bar off the end of a free kick in the twelfth minute.

Despite the game being even early on, Trafford soon emerged as the side looking more likely to take the lead. The visitors came close to doing just that in the 19th minute when Kyle Jacobs hit a very good shot from the edge of the box, which was heading in, but Mike Hale managed to get a hand on it to tip the ball over the bar.

City looked shaky at the back for the majority of the first half, and Trafford continued to dominate. They eventually took the lead in the 31st minute through Chris Palmer, who drilled a shot in the bottom left hand corner to beat Mike Hale in the City goal.

Billy Akrigg could’ve equalised for the home side soon after, but he failed to do so with Saunders making a simple save.

Trafford went in at the break deservedly leading 1-0.

Lancaster improved after the break and could’ve equalised three minutes into the second half through Billy Akrigg, but his shot went wide following a free kick.

Zach Clark came on as a substitute for Lancaster in the 67th minute, and he was quick to influence the game with an early shot going just wide of the goal.

There weren’t a great deal of chances in the second half, and Lancaster found themselves battling for an equaliser in the last ten minutes throwing bodies forward. Captain Neil Marshall connected with a powerful corner by Ryan Winder in the 83rd minute only for his shot to reach the hands of Russ Saunders easily in the Trafford goal.

Trafford’s only real chance of the second half came shortly afterwards with substitute Raul Correia shooting wide.

Lancaster continued to push for a goal, and they should’ve scored in the last minute of normal time as Zach Clark found himself with the ball just three yards out but he spent too long on the ball and he was tackled by a Trafford defender with fans of the Dolly Blues calling for a penalty.

Gavin Clark made a good run with the ball towards the box in the second minute of added time, but he failed to provide a finishing product as his shot went sailing over the bar.

Lancaster earned a corner in the last minute of added time, which keeper Mike Hale raced up for, but Ryan Winder’s corner was cleared off the line by a Trafford defender. Unfortunately for Phil Brown’s side, it wasn’t City’s day and they fell to their first loss of the month.

Lancaster City: Hale, Henry, Mercer, Marshall(c), G Clark, Watson, Winder, Akrigg (Shearwood 80), Carney, Kilifin (Clark 67), Davis (Taylor 46).

Booked: Kilifin

Trafford: Saunders, Quansah, Neville, Langford, Duggan, Granite(c), Palmer, Jacobs, Burns (Correia 72), Bryant (McDonagh 79).

Attendance: 200