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Perfect Symmetry

Lancaster City record third consecutive win with victory at Ilkeston Town

Image: Michael Porter Photography

Lancaster City beat Ilkeston Town 3-2 at the New Manor Ground on Saturday to make it three wins on the bounce.

It’s also the Dolly Blues’ third straight away victory.

Lancaster are now up to eighth, just three points outside of the playoff positions.

Brad Carroll came into the side on Saturday, starting for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on January 6.

Ilkeston took the lead early on, before Lancaster swiftly turned the game on its head with goals from David Norris and Charlie Bailey in the first half.

Bailey, who is now the club’s joint top scorer for the season, extended City’s lead shortly after half time.

Ilkeston scored on the rebound from a penalty in the first minute of second half added time to potentially set up a nervy few final moments for the visitors, but they held on to gain the three points.

Lancaster had the ball in the back of the net early on in the game, but Nic Evangelinos was caught offside as he escaped the Ilkeston backline and slotted it goalwards.

The hosts took the lead ten minutes in, direct from a set piece.

Sam Parker swung a corner into the box, but the ball evaded everyone and crept into the net

However, Lancaster weren’t behind for long.

Experienced attacking midfielder David Norris, now into his 25th season in senior football, connected with a trademark Sam Bailey long throw and nodded the ball home.

Charlie Bailey scored Lancaster’s second at the halfway mark of first half to complete a four-minute turnaround.

The two most prolific goalscorers for the team this season - Bailey and Dom Lawson - combined, with the number 11 cutting inside and firing an effort into the bottom corner.

Lancaster deserved to be in front given the nice football they were playing, but Ilkeston did try and get an equaliser before the break.

Ben Starkie was at the centre of most of the hosts’ chances in the final fifteen minutes of the first half, but his ball to forward Tom Curson, and an effort of his own, were both off target.

Charlie Bailey had the ball in the back of net again for City just before half time, but it was controversially ruled out in what was Lancaster’s third disallowed goal of the game.

It was the final action of a strong half from the Dolly Blues.

However, just after the restart, the forward did secure a brace.

Evangelinos sent a perfect ball into the middle, finding Bailey, who let fly with a volley which Mathew Yates was powerless to stop.

Despite being two down, Ilkeston didn’t give up and pushed for a goal to thin the margin, meaning Lancaster had to be defensively resolute.

Andre Mendes did well to save attempts from Jamie Walker and Declan Eratt-Thompson, while Tom Cursons’ shot flew over the bar.

City, however, weren’t afraid to try and add to the scoresheet either.

David Norris could’ve got his second and Lancaster’s fourth after some good work to get into a goalscoring position on the edge of the box but his effort went wide.

Ilkeston were awarded a penalty within the first few moments of added time after Lindon Meikle was brought down in the box.

Tom Marshall stepped up, but saw his spot kick saved by Mendes.

However, he followed it in on the rebound and reduced Lancaster’s lead to just one goal.

City managed the game well after the goal, and in the second half overall, and got a deserved three points.

Speaking to Lancaster City’s Dolly Blue Sound after the game, manager Chris Willcock said his team were a joy to watch.

“Well, what can I say? I thought the lads were outstanding from minute one,’’ he said.

“Some of the football we played in the first half was outstanding. We had three goals disallowed in a period of the game where we were totally dominating.

“I thought the third disallowed goal was well onside.

“It should’ve been a more comfortable scoreline with how well we played but we can’t take anything away, it’s all down to the players today.

“I’ve tweaked one or two things, changed the shape, asked them to do one or two things that they’ve not done before but I felt our football at times was a joy to watch.

“There aren’t many teams who will come here and do to [Ilkeston] what we’ve done to them today, so all credit goes to the players.”

Next up for Lancaster City is the visit of Cumbria side Workington on Saturday (February 17).

Lancaster City: Mendes, S Bailey (c), Brownhill, Sloan, Barnes, Cowperthwaite, Evangelinos, Carroll (Ikpakwu 59’), Lawson (Connelly 81’), Norris, Bailey

Subs not used: Clarke

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