Lancaster City 1 v 2 South Shields (Bet Victor Northern Premier League)
Lancaster City returned to the Giant Axe this weekend to face Northern Premier League leaders South Shields. The Dolly Blues knew that victory over their table topping rivals would see them go joint top of the table on goal difference. Before the game both clubs paid tribute to Barry Sutcliffe a lifelong Lancaster City supporter who sadly passed away.
A fast and furious start to this top of the table clash saw the visitors have the first effort at goal on four minutes, when a Nathan Clarke corner found Jon Shaw but his header was hacked clear by the City defence. Just rwo minutes later, the home side went close as Jack Armer sent over a dangerous delivery that was missed by everyone as it went across the visitors area before being collected by the visitors keeper Myles Boney.
On nine minutes, David Norris collected the ball just outside the visitors area before being tripped by South Shields defender Craig Baxter just outside the area. Jack Armer sent in another dangerous free-kick which was cleared to safety by Shields captain Jon Shaw.
On eleven minutes, the visitors took the lead when Sefton Gonzales pass split the City defenders superbly for Jason Gilchrist to run through before rounding the keeper and slotting the ball into the net from a tight angle to make it 0-1.
The next ten minutes continued at a fast pace, however City looked to have the measure of the visitors as they started to keep possession of the ball. Then on twenty-three minutes Lewis Fensome found space on the right wing, before taking a shot at goal which was well blocked by Craig Baxter.
A minute later, play switched to the other end of the pitch as a swift break from South Shields ended with Robert Briggs sending a shot just wide of Sam Ashtons post after an excellent ball inside by Nathan Lowe.
On twenty-six minutes, the visitors almost extended their lead when some space opened up for Nathan Lowe just outside the box, his powerful effort is brilliantly saved by the foot of Sam Ashton in the City goal.
Lancaster City drew level on thirty-four minutes, as Lewis Fensome tries to latch onto a loose ball inside the visitors penalty area, but just as he was about to strike at goal Gary Brown trips him and the referee points to the spot. Rob Wilson steps up and sends the visiting keeper Myles Boney the wrong way to make the score 1-1.
The visitors went close again on forty minutes, as Nathan Lowe curled a powerful effort just wide from twenty-five yards which flew just wide of Sam Ashton’s far post. Again play switched straight to the other end of the field as Charlie Bailey slipped the ball to Rob Wilson on the right flank, who floated a brilliant ball towards Carsley inside the area but Jon Shaw heads the danger away to make the half-time score 1-1.
The visitors made two changes at half-time and they started the quicker of the two sides in the second-half. When Nathan Lowe delivered a free-kick from deep on the left for South Shields, but Sefton Gonzales missed the header with only Sam Ashton to beat.
South Shields extended their lead on seventy minutes, as once again Nathan Lowe plays the ball to Jason Gilchrist on the right of the box before he cut inside before sending a brilliant finish passed Sam Ashton to make the score 1-2.
The last ten minutes was all Lancaster City as they went in search of a second goal to bring the scores level, on eighty-six minutes a sweet strike from the left of the box by Jack Armer fizzes narrowly wide.
In the last minutes of the match some excellent defending from South Shields snuffed out a chance for David Norris, who found himself clean through on goal but just as he was about to shoot a last ditch tackle by a South Shields defender blocked his shot on goal.
Lancaster City continued to press right until the final whistle with a goalmouth scramble in added time as they looked to come away with a well earned point, but it wasn’t to be as the South Shields held on to remain top of the Bet Victor Northern Premier League.
Mark Fell and his squad will be looking to bounce straight back this coming saturday as they travel to Hurst Cross Stadium to face relegation trobled Ashton United, a victory will keep the pressure on South Shields as the race for promotion looks set to go until the end of the season.
Lancaster City – Ashton, Bakare, Hudson, Wilson, Steel, Wills, Fensome. C.Bailey, Carsley, Norris, Armer (Subs) Williams, Anderson, Feeney, Cowperthwaite
South Shields – Boney, Hunter, Baxter, Shaw, Brown, Turnbull, Thompson, Briggs, Gilchrist, Lowe, Gonzales (Subs) Adams, Ross, Versttaaten, Gillies, Mason
Goals – (Lancaster) Wilson (34) (South Shields) Gilchrist (11, 70)
Attendance – 688