South Shields 0-1 Lancaster City
Lancaster City made it eight games unbeaten on Saturday, picking up a huge three points against table toppers South Shields, winning 1-0.
In the first half, it was the hosts who started the liveliest, with Sam Ashton making a save after just four minutes when Briggs’ cross was headed towards the City stopper.
Adam Thurston dragged an effort wide of the mark a minute later but The Mariners came very close to opening the scoring when Jack Armer’s clearance was blocked and redirected towards his own goal. To his and City’s relief, it went wide of the net.
Just after the 10-minute mark City sprung into life with decent efforts at goal from David Norris and Paul Dawson both being blocked.
The Dollies then had a corner and used a clever set piece setup that led to another shot being blocked, this time from Rob Wilson.
Then came a moment of almost pure magic for the hosts. Ashton came off his line to clear the ball and it ended up at the feet of South Shields’ left back, who from around 35 yards out dinked the Blues’ keeper but captain Glen Steel was on the line to prevent the goal.
City responded on the 25-minute mark when a Wilson effort went wide of the left post and there were then calls for a City penalty when Norris attempted to chip the ball inside the box but it was blocked by a Shields player but the appeals for a handball were waved away.
Eight minutes before half-time South Shields crafted another chance – Gilchrist firing in a shot to Ashton’s left, only for the City keeper to deny him.
South Shields had a header go just over the bar after Thurston was involved again, and that was the last big chance of the first half that was largely controlled by the hosts.
The second half began and City were much livelier from the off.
Dawson almost found himself in on goal but Briggs did brilliantly to keep up with him and shepherd him away.
Ashton was called into action again for City when he tipped the ball past his left post after South Shields worked their way into the box.
Then, the deciding moment came for City.
Blinkhorn won a corner in the 65th minute, Sam Bailey whipped it towards the far post and the ball was headed back across goal and Norris tapped it into the South Shields net. Just a couple of minutes later and City had a golden opportunity to double their lead.
Norris was slipped in behind by Blinkhorn and tried to square it to an unmarked Wilson who would surely have put the Dollies two goals to the good but Briggs came out of nowhere to prevent the pass from being made.
Twenty minutes to go and Ashton continued to produce heroics, saving a solid free kick on the edge of the box.
City found themselves with their backs against the wall for the last 15 minutes but their backline continued to repel the South Shields attacks, with Lewis Fensome heading clear from a corner.
In the closing stages there was a mix up on City’s left between Armer and Charlie Bailey, allowing the Mariners to get in behind, but Ashton once again came to the rescue and City were able to hang on for the victory.
*The Dolly Blues were back in action on Tuesday night in the Lancashire Challenge Trophy, beating Charnock Richard 5-1 away from home.
Brad Carsley gave City the lead in the first minute, then Rob Wilson made it 2-0 three minutes later.
Oliver Oxley made it 2-1 after 12 minutes but Kieron Feeney reestablished the Blues’ two goal advantage on 26 minutes.
Dawson got on the scoresheet three minutes into the second half and Carsley made it 5-1 just before the hour mark to send City through.