MATCH REPORT: Northwich Victoria 1, City 2

City successfully navigate Vics replay 

A David Norris brace at Wincham Park was enough to give Lancaster City safe passage through to the 2nd qualifying round of the FA cup after a 2-1 victory over Northwich Victoria.

Mark Fell made 4 changes to his City starting 11, back into the fold came Luke Thompson after suspension, Charlie Bailey, Paul Dawson and Jason Walker. And it was City who started the brightest, indeed they will have been left to wonder how they weren’t ahead at the break, in a half where Vics barely got into their attacking third of the pitch.

Just 2 minutes were on the clock when Jason Walker had his first sighter, but his left foot shot was just the wrong side of the post. 5 minutes later City carved out a wonderful chance after good work from Matt Blinkhorn played in Bailey who’s effort brought the first in a series of great saves from Vics keeper Danny Taberner. He denied Blinkhorn from point blank range on 15 minutes with Armer hitting the post on the rebound.

Penalty appeals for handball were waved away following a 30 yard pile-driver from Dawson as City continued to probe the Vics defence. A series a bookings followed for Vics players Brandon Barski and Tom Kilifin as the game got more physical, but the Dolly’s were in their stride, playing some lovely 1 touch football that only lacked the finishing touch.

The closest they came was on the half hour, Jack Armer linking with Charlie Bailey on the left channel to deliver a cross from Blinkhorn who’s header was somehow kept out by Taberner.

As the half drew to a close City had no reward for their dominance and the tie was certainly still in the balance.

However, the start of the 2nd half saw the Dollies shift up another gear, Vics had a warning just a minute after the break when Dawson tested Taberner from distance, but on 50 minutes the deadlock was broken. The Dolly’s keeping the ball alive from a corner and working it out to the effervescent Armer who beat his man and squared to David Norris who swivelled and shot past Taberner for 1-0.

Moments later it should have been 2, Armer again the supplier to Walker who’s left footed curling effort just missed the target.

At the other end a rare Vics breakaway saw Sam Ashton brought into action with a smart double save to prevent Ryan Winder.

The hour saw Blinkhorn replaced by Sam Joel as City looked to be more dynamic on the break and Vics had their first spell of pressure in the game without creating any real clear cut chances. Indeed further chances came for City, a header for Joel from a corner drew another great save from Taberner and with 20 minutes to go a rasping, dipping volley from Norris rattled the crossbar with Taberner stranded.

But Norris wouldn’t be denied in the 84th minute as he capped a superb City move. A headed clearance from Ben Hudson, flicked on by substitute Sam Bailey into Walker who tied the Vics defence in knots before a sumptuous pass to Norris, he took a touch past Taberner and smashed the ball into the open net for 2-0 and the tie was over.

A stoppage time Vics flurry saw them pull a goal back from Kieron Kenny but City held on to get the win their performance deserves. Much improved from Saturday, the difference in class showed and City will now face Spennymoor Town at home in the 2nd qualifying round on Saturday 21st September at the Giant Axe.