Report: Four More for Victorious Dolly Blues
A scintillating attacking performance from Lancaster City saw them put four goals past Whitby Town at Giant Axe.
Phil Brown's side might feel aggrieved to have not scored more, such were the number of chances they created, and at times their offensive football was simply unplayable for the visitors.
Right from kick-off the Dolly Blues looked up for the game, winning every second ball and playing neat passing football with confidence. With more goals in recent games giving City far greater belief in front of goal, chances were plentiful.
Craig Carney and Melle Meulensteen were both keen to test the keeper from range but neither found the target in the opening minutes. The joy for City was on the left hand side with Scott Harries producing his best display to date. His link up with Oliver Wood almost saw the striker net an early goal but for a smart reaction save after from Shane Bland in the Seasiders' goal.
It didn't take long for Lancaster to open the scoring and on 17 minutes they got their noses in-front. Again from left flank a slick attacking move culminated in Harries' shot from the edge of the box after beating his man drawing a good save from Bland. Wood was in the right place at the right time to finish off the rebound and send City on their way.
8 minutes later and the lead was doubled. Meulensteen, impressing again with another assured midfield showing, this time hitting an inch perfect cross to find the back-post run of Carney who headed the ball home from point blank range.
The first half was relatively calm for Josh Powell in the City goal, the make-shift backline in the absence of Ricky Mercer and Glenn Steel were cool and commanded with everything Whitby could throw at them.
The second half provided the bulk of the additional action with the hosts nearly extending their advantage just a minute from the restart. Gavin Clark thought he had nodded in a close range header from Ryan Winder's free kick but the linesman's flag was up to his dismay.
Simon Wills then volleyed a bouncing ball just over the bar from 20 yards as City pressed for a third, but it was the Seasiders who pulled a goal back themselves in their only real chance of the game on the hour mark. Matthew Tymon took advantage of a loose ball in front of the Lancaster defence and advanced into the area. The ball was squared across goal for new signing John Campbell to hammer a shot high into the roof of the net on his debut for the visitors and halve the deficit.
The two goal cushion was quickly restored after the introduction of Hannu Tam brought even more life to the Dollies' attack. Harries was once again at the heart of the hosts' offence, the tricky winger dribbling past three defenders before hitting a hard low shot that Bland could only parry to his right. Tam reacted quickest to coolly convert from 6 yards and end the contest with 20 minutes remaining.
The final stages of the match were a shooting gallery for Phil Brown's side with Tam, Harries, Carney, and Sam Bailey all going close on numerous occasions. It was Bailey who scored the final rebound to bring the final scoreline to 4-1 with two minutes remaining. Tam broke free of the defence and conjured another great save from Blind, but again in the right place at the right time was a blue shirt in Bailey to finish the job.
MOTM: Scott Harries.