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Lancaster City extend home unbeaten run with win over Whitby Town

Sam Bailey. Image by Michael Porter Photography.

Andrew Teague and Simon Grand got their first win as Lancaster City’s interim management team as they beat Whitby Town 2-1.

Goals from Jamie Mellen and Dom Lawson got the Dolly Blues the win, which moves them up to 12th in the NPL Premier Division.

They are now unbeaten in seven at The Giant Axe.

Grand said he “couldn’t be more proud” of the players. 

There was an interesting tactical decision from Teague and Grand for Tuesday night’s clash, as they opted for a back four - which Grand was a part of - rather than the usual three centre backs.  

The game got off to a slow start - Grand gave the hosts their first real chance of the game on 15 minutes.

The centre back has scored six goals for City this season but couldn’t get his seventh from a set piece - his effort went just wide of the far post. 

Just over halfway through the first 45 minutes, Jake Connelly latched onto a long ball from Christian Sloan, weaved his way past a defender and struck the ball but could only find the side netting.

The hosts came agonisingly close a couple more times before the half time whistle blew.

Dom Lawson’s effort glided along the face of goal before Connelly’s lopped attempt brushed the netting.

City were the dominant side in the first half and that carried on into the second, with the Dolly Blues being more accurate with their chances too.

Shane Bland in the Whitby net made a solid stop to keep out Dom Lawson’s header, but the centre forward was in an offside position.

A couple of minutes later though, Lancaster broke the deadlock.

Sam Bailey, named Player of the Match at full time, whipped in a corner and Jamie Mellen connected, tapping it home from close range.

Just six minutes later, the lead was doubled.

Jake Connelly fizzed a ball into the danger area and Lawson, in acres of space, pounced on it with a calm finish.

Brad Fewster got a goal back for the visitors with five minutes to make the final stages of the game slightly more intriguing, but City managed their lead comfortably.

Simon Grand told the Lancaster City media team after the game that the performance was “absolutely fantastic”.

Explaining the decision to go to four at the back, Grand said: “It just worked that way where, with a couple of lads feeling knocks and the personnel we had, it made sense to change it and I think with the way Whitby line up, it couldn’t have gone better.

“It just gave the lads a bit more freedom to get on the ball and play their natural game.”

Grand praised the players for “managing themselves”.

“It is a great group so there’s not a lot you need to do," he said.

“Normally the situation arises and things are going wrong, you feel you have to make wholesale changes and do something a bit different but it’s not [like that].”

Lancaster City’s next game is away to eighth placed Matlock Town this Saturday (December 2).

Lancaster City: Mendes, S Bailey, Brownhill, Sloan, Grand, Mellen (Gallagher-Allison 77’), Connelly, Carroll, Lawson (Holland-Wilkinson 85’), Norris, C Bailey (Clarke 81’)

Subs not used: Deighan, Barnes

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