Lancaster City suffered their first home defeat of the season, as an eight match unbeaten run come to an end at Giant Axe.
Jamie Walker scored a hat trick as they were beaten 4-0 by Ilkeston Town in the Northern Premier League, who played most of the game with ten men.
Lancaster had opportunities to score but the Derbyshire side’s defence made it a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for them.
Walker opened the scoring for the visitors around fifteen minutes in. Just moments after a superb block by Charlie Barnes to keep a shot from the left out, ‘the Robins’ came forward again and Walker found space to tuck his close range effort into the bottom corner.
Lancaster looked to equalise straight from kick off. Sam Bailey delivered a long throw into the box and Simon Grand rose high, but his header was easy for Matt Yates in the Ilkeston goal to collect.
The away side went down to ten men after Tyrell Waite was shown a red card for an off the ball incident.
Charlie Bailey found brother Sam who lined up a strong low shot from outside the box but it was straight at Yates.
An awkward backpass from an Ilkeston defender around the half hour mark gave Jake Connelly a great chance to level up, but once he got past him and Yates, the angle became too tight and he could only find the side netting.
Ilkeston made it 2-0 just moments after that. It was Walker on the scoresheet again, hitting a cracking effort from range that flew past Andre Mendes and nestled in the top corner.
An in-swinging ball from Charlie Barnes into the box found Jake Connelly who tried to halve the deficit in acrobatic style but his effort went wide.
Lancaster had another decent chance to get one back at the start of the second half but Brad Carroll’s effort was charged down by the Ilkeston defence.
Niall Cowperthwaite was judged to have brought down Connor Dixon in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Jamie Walker made no mistake from 12 yards and got his hat trick.
L’Varn Brandy had only been on the pitch for four minutes before he got Ilkeston’s fourth, with a quarter of an hour of normal time left, to put them well out of sight. Hat trick scorer Walker was the provider as the sub cooly found the net.
The visitors’ defence had been resolute all afternoon.
Lancaster had had their chances but there seemed to always be at least one Ilkeston body in the way. Brad Carroll’s attempt was cleared off the line in what was City’s best chance of the game.
Mark Fell spoke post-match to Beyond Radio.
“I don’t really know where to start. It wasn’t like us,’’ he said.
“Credit to them, they pressed us really well, got on top of us - their pace was a real problem for us.
“When we had players out of position, they exposed us, so fair play to them.
“They have probably only had four or five and scored four, we probably had a good eight or nine and scored none, but we could still be out there now and we wouldn’t score a goal.”
Lancaster City will travel to Workington AFC on Tuesday evening (September 26), looking to bounce back from defeat, and Fell is hopeful that Saturday’s performance was a one-off.
“Our form tells us that it is a one-off but we’ve still got to go and back that up with something better at Workington, who’ve had a good start themselves,’’ he added.
“We need to get the lads back in the right frame of mind, take the bones out of today and give a good account of ourselves on Tuesday.”
Workington AFC v Lancaster City at Borough Park kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday (September 26).
Lancaster City: Mendes, S Bailey, Brownhill, Barnes, Teague (c), Grand, Carroll, Cowperthwaite, Lawson (Holland-Wilkinson 38’), C Bailey, Connelly (Turner 59’
Subs not used: Clarke, Francis-Burrell, Allington
Ilkeston Town: Yates, Anderson, Parker, Wilder, Perch (c), Cox, Goodson (Brandy 70’), Dixon, Waite, Eratt-Thompson (Starkie 81’), Walker (Hanson 90’)
Subs not used: Hallam, Keane