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First - Match centre

Radcliffe Borough
Lancaster City
Sat 25 Mar 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier - First Division North Full time Attendance 186

Dolly Blues Top Table Again

Lancaster City opened up a 3 point lead at the top of the Division 1 North with a comfortable victory at Radcliffe Borough.

A quality brace from Hannu Tam and Jordan Connerton's 21st goal of the season earned City all three points with a textbook away performance at Stainton Park.

Phil Brown's side were made to wait for the breakthrough, with Hannu Tam netting a minute either side of the half time whistle, whilst Mike Hale saved a second half penalty to ensure a bonus clean sheet.

The very first chance after just three minutes fell to the hosts but it was spurned as soon as it came. Elliot Rokka was the guilty man who scuffed his first time shot from the edge of the box well wide of Hale's left hand post.

From this point on the pressure all came from the visitors as City pressed and pressed. Ryan Winder and Craig Carney both hit shots straight at 'keeper Kyle Haslem but with Radcliffe defending deep and in numbers clear chances were hard to come by. There were plenty of goalmouth scrambles and blocked shots that were very well defended by Borough's organised back-line, but the pressure was eventually too much.

On the stroke of half time the deadlock was broken thanks to a expert though ball over the top from Jacob Gregory as Tam raced in behind the Borough defence. With the ball bouncing 20 yards from goal the young forward hit a sweet first time volley over Haslem and into the net to give Lancaster the half time lead.

Playing down the slope in the second half the Dolly Blues moved up through the gears and really took the game to Radcliffe and doubled their lead on just 46 minutes. Connerton neatly flicked the ball on to Tam who showed quick feet to latch onto the ball, round the keeper, and slot home with deft composure for his and City's second.

Haslem then pulled off a superb reaction save to deny Connerton, tipping a powerful effort around the post and City continued to press before the hosts were handed a lifeline.

A close range shot into the abdomen of Ricky Mercer was adjudged to have been blocked by his hand just inside the box and Radcliffe had a chance to halve the deficit. Jack Hindle stepped up for Borough but his effort was too central and easily saved by Hale in the City goal.

Connerton then added the gloss as Billy Akrigg played an inch-perfect pass to set the forward in on goal. Just inside the left hand side of the box his shot was low and powerful and wrapped the points up with quarter of an hour to play.

New signing Josh Earl made a late appearance and almost marked his debut with a goal late in the game. Cutting inside from the left flank the winger unleashed a rasping goal-bound strike that Haslem superbly tipped around the near post to keep the Dollies efforts at just three to the good on a fantastic afternoon of football.

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