The Dolly Blues came in to this one looking to extend their recent 3 game unbeaten streak by following Saturday’s 0-0 draw with a win, to keep their promotion hopes alive.
It proved to be a fiery affair at Giant Axe that saw three yellow cards and a red handed out between the two sides. A sending off midway through the second half proved to be the difference in the game and eventually Whitby took all three points, rounding off a 3-1 win in the dying minutes of the match.
City started the game promisingly, twice going close through a Sam Bailey shot and a Brad Carsley header, both going wide within the first 10 minutes. However, through every City attack came a counter from Whitby, something that would be a running theme throughout the match.
The 12th minute saw the first of three first half injury stoppages with defender Glenn Steel seemingly struggling with an injury which saw him later substituted in the first half for Matty Blinkhorn.
Shortly after Steel recovered the first time City seemed to find their feet particularly through a brilliant interception by Paul Dawson putting David Norris through who fired straight at the ‘keeper.
The Dolly Blues’ soon lived to regret not putting their chances away after a couple of minutes of Whitby pressure forced a great save by ‘keeper Sam Ashton. However, he could only palm it as far as Whitby number 10 Matty Tymon who notched in Town’s first goal of the night in the 19th minute of the game.
Lancaster responded well after conceding and left back Jack Armer was putting some dangerous balls into the box, however nothing came of them.
Around the 30 minute mark, referee Matthew McQuillan had to step in and calm the players down after a few altercations. Shortly after this, City gave away 2 free kicks in the space of 5 minutes which resulted in yellow cards to Niall Cowperthwaite and captain Simon Wills.
The first half started to fizzle out as the game settled down, that was until Matt Tymon fired wide on the stroke of half time. The whistle went shortly after and the two teams went into the changing rooms at 0-1.
The Dolly Blues came out for the second half with a point to prove and they went close after a mazy run by David Norris earned them a corner. The resulting corner landed at Jack Armer’s feet but his close range shot was blocked and the boys were still trailing.
Lancaster were enjoying a period of dominance which was encouraging however this lasted only until the 61st minute when what first seemed like a 50/50 challenge between David Norris and Jassem Sukar resulted in a straight red for City’s number 10.
This red card really made the difference and Lancaster didn’t seem to have a sniff at goal for a long time after. Matty Blinkhorn was putting in a great effort up front winning many headers but he was alone up there as the extra man counted.
The away side then piled on the pressure and went extremely close to doubling and tripling their lead with a Matty Tymon free header somehow going wide and another header by Alex White crashing against the crossbar.
This constant pressure resulted in an inevitable second goal for Whitby in the 71st minute coming through an Evan Horwood cross and another Matty Tymon goal.
That second goal seemed to have killed City off, that was until around the 75th minute when the boys started to gather some momentum with substitutes Ryan Rydel and Charlie Bailey particularly impressing.
This momentum along with a great close range save from City number 1 Sam Ashton was bringing us back into the game.
Then the goal finally came! A brilliant passage of play eventually lead to a great pass by Niall Cowperthwaite, hit first time by newest signing and substitute Ryan Rydel, a sweet shot that rifled into the bottom corner of the net.
Shortly after City pulled one back, Charlie Bailey had a long range effort saved by Whitby ‘keeper Shane Bland. The Dolly Blues then looked to be asserting some pressure down the left flank with Armer, Rydel and Blinkhorn combining well.
The late resurgence however proved too little too late and with Lancaster flooding so many men forward, they were left weak at the back. This was an area that was eventually exploited in the 92nd minute when a clinical Whitby counter attack lead to a third and final goal notched by number 11, Callum Patton.
City now sit third in the Northern Premier League but having played at least a game more than their surrounding opposition. The Blues will be looking for a big bounceback and win away at Hyde United at 3pm this Saturday (29/02).
Come on you Dolly Blues!
Lancaster City: Ashton, Hudson, Armer, Wills (C), Steel (Blinkhorn 45+2’), Cowperthwaite, S. Bailey (Rydel 59’), Dawson, Carsley, Norris, Wilson (C. Bailey 76’).
Unused substitutions: Pilkington, Feeney.
Whitby Town: Bland, Dixon, Horwood, Rowe, White, Sukar, Hickley, Gell, Fewster (Hopson 87’), Tymon (Bythway 90’), Patton
Unused substitutions: Rutherford, McTiernan, Dixon
Referee: Matthew McQuillan
Assistants: Joseph Wareham, Mariusz Kurkiewicz
Match report by Andrew Hartley