A spectacular performance today saw The Dolly Blues pick up a well deserved away win against tough opposition and helping themselves stick in a playoff spot. The victory extends Mark Fell’s men to their 6th consecutive unbeaten game.
The game started similar to the last League game against Ashton United, with Mickleover maintaining a hefty amount of possession early on. Their possession however led to nothing, despite shots from Nathan Modest, no goals were able to materialise.
City’s first chance came from the captain Simon Wills after Jack Armer whipped in an inviting cross which the skipper latched on to. His shot came as quite a surprise though as he produced a quite unorthodox overhead kick which was, only just, saved by the home team’s keeper and pushed over the bar.
From this point on for the remainder of the half, Lancaster were riding high with the defence either making themselves big and stopping anything thrown at them or not being that involved due to the lack of attacking pressure.
As the rain began to fall, the away side saw a yellow. Paul Dawson received a booking after just losing out on a 50/50 tackle in the centre of the pitch. The resulting free kick to Sports led to nothing.
After a foul by the home team’s captain Jake Scott in the 24th minute, a free kick was awarded. The taker, Jack Armer. He stepped up to the ball and swung in a perfect cross that landed on the head of Matthew Blinkhorn who slotted his attempt into the bottom left corner. 1-0 to Lancaster.
Mickleover’s best chance of the half came shortly after the goal when they were awarded a free kick. It was taken by Mason Warren who’s attempt didn’t trouble the big man, Sam Ashton.
Not long after the half an hour mark, we would begin to see a trend involving a very impressive Charlie Bailey. With slick feet and a quick drop of the body, he was able to slip inside the defence looking like Lionel Messi himself. Unfortunately, the shot he took after the incredible piece of play was a little wide of the mark. Nevertheless, a very good effort.
The next booking would be shown for the home side. Captain Jake Scott received a yellow card after a challenge on Paul Dawson. The resulting free kick, once again taken by Armer was crossed into the box but was dealt with by Mickleover’s keeper Nathan Broome.
Shortly before half time, after Sport’s Stuart Beavon was spoken to by the referee for a previous offence, Charlie Bailey once again went on a run. He broke through the home team’s defence and attempted to link up with Lancaster’s leading goal scorer David Norris, instead, linking up with his captain, Wills.
Simon then turned and passed a very tasty ball to Norris, who turned and shot. His strike was stupendous and taken with great finesse. The strike was just outside the box and was curled into the top left corner after a slight deflection off a Mickleover defender’s head. 2-0 to The Dolly Blues.
Half time hit and it was a very good showing from the away side, playing very good football and deserving their current lead.
The second half began with City coming out swinging but were under the cosh possession wise. However, they were maintaining some good pressure on every player that was in their way. This was until the 51st minute when the home side’s striker Richard Batchelor went in, studs up and late on Dawson whilst attempting to gain possession.
The referee didn’t hesitate to pull out a straight red card for the striker who was told to leave the pitch. Mickleover down to 10 men.
Even with the host’s being a man down, they didn’t let up trying with numerous attempts in the space of a few minutes. All efforts however resulted in good blocks from City’s defence.
The hour mark would see the game’s first substitution. Lancaster’s Paul Dawson making way for Robert Wilson. From the resulting stoppage of play for the player switch to happen, City would make it 3-0.
The man of the hour, Charlie Bailey would pick up the ball in midfield and begin running again. After taking on numerous defenders, he would see himself on the edge of the box. He took a shot which flew past the keeper into the bottom left corner. This however lacked immediate fanfare from the travelling fans. It took them a moment to realise it was a goal as it was finished so quickly. 3-0 to City.
As the game came down to it’s final 20 minutes, we saw the remaining and last substitutions from both teams. The home side’s Lee Hughes, Greg Young and Mason Warren would be replaced by Max Waters, Karel Tvaroh and Jiri Boula.
For the away side, David Norris and Simon Wills would make way for Sam Bailey and Rowan Roache.
Last quarter of an hour and the winning side still don’t look like they’re done with only 3 goals. The home team’s crossbar was left shaking after a cracking shot from Robert Wilson was curled in from outside the box. A little lower on the attempt and City would have had a 4th.
The final 10 minutes of the match would provide what seemed to be the exact same piece of play over and over again. With Mickleover being a man short, their midfield had gaps galore which was punished by Fell’s men. Attempts from Blinkhorn and Sam Bailey weren’t able to increase the score line.
With the final whistle looming, the home side managed to break The Dolly’s defence and score what only managed to be a consolation. The goal coming from sub Jiri Boula after some nice play in the box.
The final whistle blows, that’s game over.
A very impressive 3-1 away victory for The Dolly Blues. Lancaster’s next game is back at home against Witton Albion in the FA Trophy on Saturday 26th October. Kick off 3pm. #COYDB