Promotion hopefuls Forest Green snatch victory over Barrow in entertaining encounter

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Vanarama National League

Barrow 2-3 Forest Green Rovers

Bennett 33 Noble 6

Hannah 88 Doidge 64                    

                       Monthe 90+4

Forest Green won 3-2 against fellow promotion hopefuls Barrow in a very entertaining game at Holker Street today. The away side’s goals came from Liam Noble, Christian Doidge and Manny Monthe whilst Richie Bennett and Ross Hannah netted for Barrow.

The away side had a very good start to the game, and were in front just six minutes in. Captain Liam Noble hit an excellent free kick over the wall and into the top left-hand corner, wholeheartedly beating Barrow keeper Jonathan Flatt.

The game was played out mainly in midfield in the first half, with some rash challenges going in and there were little chances. Barrow’s first chance of the game didn’t come until the 30th minute. Akil Wright volleyed just wide after a brilliant cross from Danny Livesey.

Three minutes later, Barrow were back in the game. Richie Bennett headed home on the end of Harvey’s brilliant free kick to equalise for the home side.

Barrow could’ve taken the lead just before half time when Bennett made a promising run, but his 41st minute shot was badly timed and his effort went well wide of the mark. It was 1-1 at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Forest Green came very close to taking the lead again. Charlie Cooper’s impressive corner was pushed out by Flatt and the ball fell to Liam Noble, whose long range shot forced the keeper into an excellent diving save to his right.

The away side did find themselves in front eight minutes later. Christian Doidge headed home on the end of Liam Noble’s free kick- a goal that was almost identical to Richie Bennett’s goal in the first half for the hosts.

Moussa Diarra and Akil Wright both came close for the hosts in the 67th and 69th minutes respectively, with both efforts going just over the bar.

Jonathan Flatt kept Barrow in with a chance ten minutes later, blocking Woolery’s shot after a great run from the winger.

In the 81st minute, substitute Andy Haworth almost made an instant impact for Paul Cox’s side. The former Bury man’s free kick was only kept out thanks to an outstanding diving save by Sam Russell to his left.

Barrow were awarded a penalty in the 85th minute after Moussa Diarra appeared to be brought down in the box. After some altercations between both sets of players, Ross Hannah eventually stepped up to the spot in the 88th minute. Whilst his penalty was saved by Russell to his left, the former Grimsby forward was able to score the rebound to quickly make amends.

The home side then looked to pile on the pressure on Mark Cooper’s men, desperate for a winner. After some excellent attacking play, Andy Haworth could only shoot straight at the keeper at the end of the move in the last minute of normal time.

Five minutes of added time were indicated, and Forest Green made good use of this- scoring the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Substitute Manny Monthe provided an excellent header on the end of Noble’s corner to beat Flatt and take home the three points for the promotion contenders.

The result means that Barrow move out of the play-off places into sixth on 49 points, and Forest Green are now one point off the top on 57 points. Up next for Barrow is Kidderminster Harriers at home in the third round of the FA Trophy, whilst Forest Green travel to Macclesfield in the same competition.

Barrow: Flatt 8, Beeley 7, Diarra 7, Livesey 6 (c), Anderton 7, Wright 8 (Haworth 80), Harvey 6, Rowe 6, Hughes 5 (Meikle 73), Turnbull 7 (Hannah 72), Bennett 7.

Booked: Livesey, Harvey, Rowe, Bennett and Hannah

Sub ratings: Haworth 8, Meikle n/a, Hannah 7

Subs not used: Panayiotou and Anderson

Forest Green Rovers: Russell 8, Bennett 7, Ellis 6, Pinnock 6, Wishart 6 (Marsh-Brown 90+1), Cooper 7 (Wedgbury 90+5), Noble 9 (c), Sinclair 7, Woolery 8, Gosling 7 (Monthe 66), Doidge 7.

Booked: Ellis, Noble, Cooper, Wishart

Subs ratings: Monthe 8, Marsh-Brown n/a, Wedgbury n/a

Subs not used: Carter and Robert

Attendance: 1,422


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





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



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

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




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