City secured back-to-back league victories with a deserved win against Radcliffe Borough.
Goals from Charlie Bailey, Ben Carsley and David Norris delivered the Dollies a crucial three points at the Neuven Stadium.
City looked to start the game quick and that they did. Inside the opening minutes, Paul Dawson’s rasping free-kick was expertly tipped over by Ollie Martin.
Radcliffe’s first chance of the game fell to Connor Hughes but his shot was easy for City keeper, Sam Ashton.
Just inside 10 minutes, the Dolly Blues broke the deadlock. Rob Wilson brilliantly found Charlie Bailey who, on the half-volley slammed it into the bottom left corner. Three in two for the inform man.
City went in search of a second and so nearly found it. A free-kick caused havoc in the home side’s box and it came to Norris but Martin was equal to his shot.
That sparked the home side into life. A mazy run from Hughes saw him beat several City players but his shot was comfortable for Ashton.
Another chance went begging for The Boro. Just before the half-hour mark, a teasing ball met the head of Matthew Wolfenden but he couldn’t convert his header.
Despite the pressure, it was the Dollies who doubled their lead. An over-the-top ball was cleverly brought down by Carsley, who smashed it past Martin. The Dolly Blues two to the good at half-time.
After the interval, City wasted no time trying to get the third. Carsley found himself through one-on-one but he couldn’t double his tally, putting his shot wide of the target.
Moments later, Radcliffe were inches away from pulling a goal back as Darren McKnight unleashed a pile driver but his free-kick sailed just over the bar.
Sam Bailey’s long throw-ins had caused havoc for Radcliffe’s backline all afternoon and it was the route to City’s third goal. The Boro didn’t deal with a flick on and Paul Dawson unselfishly laid it to Norris, who fired it into the top corner. A clinical finish.
The Dollies were relentless and went searching for a fourth. Substitute Kieron Feeney latched onto a loose touch from the Radcliffe defence and had two stabs at it. His first attempt was well saved by Martin and his second was blazed over the bar.
Before the final whistle was blown, the Dolly Blues had two golden opportunities to add more to the score line.
Carsley could’ve and should’ve had a brace. A neat one-two with Feeney put the number nine clear on goal but was thwarted by another fine save from Martin.
The final opportunity of the game was created by the lively Feeney. He played it to Sam Bailey but his low curling effort was palmed clear by Martin.
City still sit third in the Northern Premier League but are now just two points behind table-toppers, South Shields.
Radcliffe: Martin; Swaby-Neavin, Grogan, Williams, Hanley; Crothers, McKnight (Winter 70’), Dolan(Navarro 57’); Scott (Doyle 79’), Wolfenden, Hughes.
Unused substitutions: Nyaupembe, Brown.
Dolly Blues: Ashton; Hudson, Steel, Armer; Sam Bailey, Cowperthwaite, Dawson (Feeney 72’), Wilson, Charlie Bailey (Anderson 45’); Norris, Carsley.
Unused substitutions: Povey, Pilkington.
Match Report by Ben Rooth.