Lancaster City 3-0 Stratford Town
Lancaster City booked their place in the next round of the FA Trophy with a convincing 3-0 win over Stratford Town at the Giant Axe on Saturday.
The Dolly Blues all but killed the game off in the opening 45 minutes as they raced into a three-goal lead thanks to a Liam Francis own goal and a brace from RyanWinder.
The opening few minutes gave an indication of what was to come, with Hannu Tam and Scott Harries unsettling the Stratford defenders, and they forced a couple of early corners and free kicks around the penalty area as Town made a sluggish start to the game.
City took the lead after seven minutes when a long clearance found the unmarked Tam, who jinked past the defence, and from the by line squared the ball across the face of the goal, where an unbalanced Francis put through his own goal trying to prevent what would have been a tap in for Scott Harries at the back post.
Stratford came close to an equaliser from a corner in the 13th minute when a Liam Francis header ricocheted around the City six-yard box before being scrambled away.
Louis Connor in the Stratford goal was then forced into action once again, this time saving at full stretch to beat away a Lancaster effort from a corner.
It wasn’t long before City extended their lead though.
From a freekick the initial delivery was cleared, but Winder whipped in another cross towards the near post, which was missed by everyone and drifted into the net to give the Blues a 2-0 advantage 22 minutes in.
A last-ditch goal line line clearance from Lee Thomas stopped things getting worse for Stratford, and on 39 minutes some patient build up play saw the ball fed to Eli Bako on the left, who skipped inside his marker and let fly from 30 yards, which forced Josh Powell into an excellent save.
However, from the resulting Town corner, Lancaster went three up.
The ball was hacked clear and it fell to Tam, who raced forward and had the easiest of tasks to feed the ball to Winder who calmly picked his spot.
Stratford started the second half with a lot more urgency, with Jaz Luckie’s pace forcing some hesitant defending as Town won a couple of corners and free kicks without getting any clear cut chances to pull a goal back.
Their best chance came in the 58th minute when a deep cross found Luckie, who controlled it well but his shot was straight at Powell, and although Town were matching Lancaster in terms of possession, there was less ambition from them as they clearly were settling for the lead they had.
The last chance fell to Lancaster in 86th minute when Harries let fly from 25 yards but Connor saved at full stretch as Lancaster moved into the next round, where they will take on Mildenhall Town at the Giant Axe on Saturday, November 25.
Lancaster City: Powell, Fensome, Dugdale, Wills, Williams, Mercer, Winder (Sam Bailey 71), Akrigg, Tam (Pond 79), Carney (Charlie Bailey 81), Harries. Subs not used: Hudson, Kilifin.