Lancaster City 1 v 0 Nantwich Town (Northern Premier League
Nantwich Town made the short journey north up the M6 to face Mark Fell’s Lancaster City, who still have an outside chance of promotion this season via the play-offs. Andrew Teague (Club Captain) reached a club milestone, when he was selected to make his 150th appearances for the Dolly Blues, which was marked by the club with a small presentation of a bottle champagne.
The visitors arrived at the Giant Axe Stadium unbeaten in the month of March with four wins and one draw in their last five Northern Premier League fixtures. David Cooke was looking for his squad to continue the clubs excellent run, which has seen them move away from the relegation zone into fifteenth position in the league table.
Lancaster City had the first real effort of the half on four minutes, when Sam Bailey made a run down the right-wing before crossing the ball into the visits area. Nathan Reid headed the ball under pressure from about eight yards, which was collected by visiting goalkeeper Sam Tickle.
After a couple of long throws into the visitors area that came to nothing, the visitors had an excellent chance to take the lead as Jamie Morgan won the ball on the right wing before driving into the box, but his shot come cross hit a bobble just as he hit it and ball went high over Curtis Anderson’s crossbar without troubling the goalkeeper.
On seventeen minutes, with the game still goalless the visitors reached an impressive milestone making it five hundred minutes since they last conceded a league goal.
Nantwich Town went close to taking the lead on eighteen minutes, following a foul on the right hand side just outside the area. Sean Cooke placed the ball before curling it around the three man Lancaster City wall, but his excellent attempt was well saved by Curtis Anderson on the line low down to his left.
The home side then had two efforts in two minutes, the first on nineteen minutes was a fine attempt by Christian Sloan from the edge of the visitors box, he wrapped his foot around the shot but his effort flow just pasted Sam Tickles post. The second effort a minute later came from Nathan Reid after he was released by Enock Likoy, but his shot missed the target without troubling Sam Tickle.
On twenty-two minutes, the visitors won another free-kick just outside the Lancaster City area. Sam Cooke played this one short to Joe Robbins, but his effort is well charged down by the Lancaster City defence and went to safety.
Lancaster City took the lead on twenty-six minutes, following a deep corner to the back of the six yard box which was headed home by Jack Byrne to make the score 1-0.
The game then became a bit of a midfield battle with very few clear cut chances, the home side did go close on thirty-six minutes, when Liam Brockbank found himself clear inside the Nantwich six yard box but his shot from the angle was saved by Sam Tickle and also ruled offside.
On forty-one minutes, Lancaster City were forced into a change after Andrew Teague was fouled by Tommy Montefiori who received the yellow card and Joseph Blanchard came on to replace Andrew Teague, there was no further action in the final four minutes leaving the half-time 1-0.
Mark Fell, will have been pleased with his sides first-half performance as the Dolly Blues controlled most of the half and created some excellent chances, in fact the one thing that the City management team would be looking to improve in the second-half would be there finishing in front of goal.
Lancaster City had the first really chance of the second-half on forty-six minutes, when the ball fell to Enoch Likoy but once again his effort at goal was well saved by Tickle in the Nantwich Town goal. On fifty-one minutes the visitors had an effort on goal when a good run by Bickerstaff lead to a shot on goal being blocked by the Lancaster City defence. The resulting corner was punched clear to safety by Anderson in the Lancaster City goal.
On fifty-four minutes, with the visitors on top the ball fell Nathan Reid who hit a spectacular effort at goal, but has shot went high and wide of Andersons goal. Just after the hour mark Enoch Likoy had another excellent chance to extend the home sides lead but he rushed his shot and the ball went over the Nantwich Town crossbar.
The next ten minutes turned into a bit of midfield battle which saw a number of poor tackles from the visitors, this lead to a few arguments and pushing and shoving on the touchline between the two management teams. Then on sixty-six minutes, Raffie pinged the ball to Bickerstaff who tried to poke the ball in at the near post, but his effort was deflected wide for a corner.
Sam Bailey was now having a massive influence on the match with a number of outstanding runs and crosses from the right wing. On seventy minutes, the home side should have extended their lead when once again Sam Bailey beat his man on the wing before crossing the ball low into the six yard box were Enoch Likoy beat the defender to the ball, only to see Tickle in the visitors goal make an excellent reflex save before the ball was cleared to safety.
On seventy-four minutes, a great ball over the top from Cooke found Connor Heath who connected well with his shot and only a deflection stopped the ball from going on target. The home side then had a final chance to extend their lead on ninety-four minutes, when Charlie Bailey almost got on the end of a Sam Bailey cross which was saved by Tickle, but Bailey blocked the goalkeepers clearance and the ball fell to Rodwell-Grant just as the full time whistle blow leaving the full-time score 1-0.
Lancaster City will travel to the Tarmac Silverland Stadium next weekend, were they will face Northern Premier League leaders Buxton Football Club as they look to continue their five game unbeaten run and put pressure on the sides above them in the promotion hunt.
Lancaster City – C.Anderson, S.Bailey, Brockbank, Byrne, Teague, Steel, Sloan, Wills, Likoy, C.Bailey, Reid (Subs) Blanchard, Wilson, Rodwell-Grant, B.Anderson, Davidson
Nantwich Town – Tickle, Stair, Morgan, Bourne, Langley, Bell, Montefiori, Robbins, Bickerstaff, Cooke, Heath (Subs) Malkin, Nock, Raffie, Moran, Edwards
Goals – (Lancaster City) Byrne 26
Attendance – 478