Lancaster City 1 v 0 Matlock Town (Bet Victor Northern Premier League)
Lancaster City returned to the Giant Axe this weekend to face Matlock Town in the Bet Victor Northern Premier League, which was a change to the scheduled fixture due to Whitby Town being in FA Cup third qualifying round action against Gloucester City.
Lancaster City started the stronger of the two sides and after four minutes David Norris played a ball over the top of the Matlock defence to Rowan Roache who was clean through on goal before being flagged offside. Just two minutes later and Sam Bailey gets past his man before finding David Norris who in turn picks out Rowan Roach, but his shot was blocked by Rea in the Matlock defence.
On nine minutes, captain David Norris suffered a huge blow whilst challenging for the ball in the air. The clash between Norris and Matlock defender Gooda saw both players receive lengthy treatment. However after some great work by the City physio, Norris was able to come back on and continue up front for the Dolly Blues.
The home side took the lead on eighteen minutes, as Paul Dawson collected the ball just inside the opposition half before running unchallenged to just outside the box, where he then struck a beautiful effort which beat the diving Jon Stewart into the bottom corner of the goal to give Lancaster City the lead.
The goal seamed to bring the visitors to life and almost straight from the kick-off they were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area which was dealt with expertly by the City defence. Then on twenty minutes on loan Guiseley winger Sam Scriven was found inside the City area, but he couldn’t get his shot away and the ball was cleared by Jack Armer.
On thirty-three minutes, David Norris sent Rowan Roache clear down the right but his cross was cleared by the visitors defence. Sam Bailey collected the lose ball and played an excellent one-two with Wilson, but his shot was saved by Jon Stewart in the visitors goal.
Just four minutes later, Jack Rea headed the ball over the City defence and found Sam Scriven running clearly on goal. Scriven’s looked offside as the City defence stopped expecting to see the flag, but Sam Ashton made a crucial save to keep City in the lead.
City had the final effort of the half, when Sam Bailey stole the ball from the Matlock left back and played a beautiful through ball to Rowan Roache. The young striker set himself brilliantly, before shooting passed the on rushing Jon Stewart but his effort went just wide of the keepers right-hand post to the half-time score 1-0.
The visitors started the second-half quickly and a long ball down the right was cleared by Jack Armer, however as he won the ball Marcus Marshall committed a late challenge on the defender which left him with a serious injury. Referee Luis Griffiths allowed the game to continue without even a booking and moments later the Armer had to be carried off by the physio due and replaced by Glenn Steel.
Almost immediately after the change, Charlie Bailey went down before the game could get back underway as he was replaced by Simon Wills. Despite missing the the entire first choice left-hand side early in the second-half, City continued to be strong at the back for the rest of the match.
Lancaster City should have extended their lead on fifty-six minutes, as some beautiful football from the City midfield created a great chance. Rowan Roache starting the move playing the ball inside where Rob Wilson and David Norris both have great touches before passing the ball to Paul Dawson, who took his time and set up Sam Bailey on the left-hand side of the six yard box. The winger lined up a shot and forced an outstanding save out of the visiting keeper Jon Stewart.
The Dolly Blues continued to press and had a number of great chances to extend the lead. The next one was from a Sam Bailey corner which was whipped in brilliantly and found the head of Ben Hudson, but his effort was cleared off the line and away to safety. It was all City as they continued to force the Matlock defence to work hard this time Norris played the ball off to Dawson who could only manage to drag a left foot shot wide of the post.
Matlock Town tried to get back into the game with around fifteen minutes to go taking off Jack Rea for Spencer Harris. The change give the visitors the upper hand in the final ten minutes of the match as they hit a number of shots at the City goal.
Matlock continued to have more of the ball and managed to work the ball to the right and win a corner. The corner was met by Bailey Gooda but he didn’t get the best connection and the effort was cleared by City defence.
Sam Bailey then went close for the home side as he whipped a cross in from the left with his right foot. The cross caused more problems for the visiting goalkeeper Jon Stewart who had to tip the ball over his own crossbar for a City corner.
The City defence has been incredible throughout the game and this time it was Sam Ashton to show his ability. Matlock created another chance late on in thie game, but Ashton made an incredible save to prevent the visitors grabbing a goal and drawing level.
Just before added time, the game brought about an altercation which came from what looked like nothing. It was quickly resolving but the incident saw Luke Dean pick up a yellow card.
City played some clever football deep in stoppage time, keeping the ball deep in Matlock’s half making sure the ball is as far away from the City goal as possible. After five minutes of injury time the referee blow the final whistle to give Lancaster City all three points with a 1-0 win.
Speaking after the match manager Mark Fell said, “I thought the squad showed a different side today, the whole team dug in. I think we were excellent at the back and we dealt with the long and high balls into the area really well. We should have won by a bigger margin it could have easily been three nil this afternoon.
We have picked up a number of injuries this afternoon including Jack Armer who has been outstanding at left-back, he has a massive cut to his ankle which is down to the bone and we have also lost Charlie Bailey which is our whole left-hand side out of action for the trip to Warrington Town on Tuesday night.
Lancaster City – Ashton, Fensome, Armer, Dawson, Hudson, Cowperthwaite, C.Bailey, Wilson, Norris, Roache, S.Bailey (Subs) Steele, Blinkhorn, Williams, Wills, Povey
Matlock Town – Stewart, Lacey, Gordon, Rea, Gooda, Wiley, Marshall, Dean, Hinsley, Sinnott, Scrivens (Subs) Smith
Goals – (Lancaster City) Dawson (18)
Attendance – 234