Lancaster City 2-0 Halesowen Town: Dolly Blues back to winning ways
Lancaster City got back to winning ways on Saturday afternoon by beating struggling Halesowen Town at Giant Axe.
Goals for Mamadou Djabi and Billy Akrigg saw Phil Brown’s side move up to 11th in the Evo-Stik Premier Division with a first victory in four matches.
The Dolly Blues started the game strongly and Fleetwood Town loanee Djabi, who was a handful all game, managed to break the deadlock on 17 minutes.
Sam Bailey whipped an excellent delivery to the back-post where Djabi was on hand to turn home from close range for his third goal in five matches.
Lancaster looked to stretch their advantage with Hannu Tam and Bailey having efforts comfortably stopped, while Paul Dugdale may have broken the net had his rasping 30-yard drive drifted an inch or two inside the post.
An unfortunate injury to Kyle Morrison, midway though the first-half, proved to be the unlikely catalyst for a Halesowen revival.
The right-back was replaced by towering forward Serigne Diop which gave the visitors more attacking impetus.
Having improved at the end of the first period, the visitors went close at the start of the second with Josh Powell tipping over Bradley Lewis’ piledriver as the tide turned.
Brown made his move however with Craig Carney and Ryan Winder being introduced.
Having altered their set-up tactically, Billy Akrigg seemed to have greater licence to roam from the midfield and was on-hand to capitalise upon that.
Akrigg carried the ball from deep and no-one in yellow and black could get near the midfielder and with the defence back-peddling he was invited to go for goal which he did, lashing a firm effort beyond Daniel Platt from just outside the box.
It was a fine individual goal from Akrigg – a strike that sapped the life out of the struggling visitors.
Matters weren’t helped when Bradley Lewis limped off injured after all three substitutions had been made, forcing John Hill’s side to end the game a man down.
Substitute Leon Creech could have added some gloss to the score-line for the hosts by teeing-up Carney or Winder for a one-on-one, as the 10-man visitors struggled, however he elected to shoot himself and his effort was blocked.
There was still time for some goalkeeping heroics from Platt in the final moments.
The stopper made a fine low save to keep out Winder’s angled effort before throwing himself in-front of Tam’s rebound.
It mattered not though as the Dolly Blues picked up a welcome win.
Tuesday night’s trip to Warrington Town in the League Cup was postponed due to the Wire’s continued involvement in the Cheshire Senior Cup.