Lancaster City 2-2 Northwich Victoria
Billy Akrigg scored a brace as Lancaster City fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Northwich Victoria at Giant Axe on Saturday.
An underwhelming first-half display from the home side allowed Northwich to go in at half-time two goals to the good as Iain Howard’s close-range header and Richie Bennett’s 25-yard screamer left Lancaster for dead.
However, an inspired second-half performance saw the Dolly Blues pull themselves level as Akrigg got his name on the scoresheet twice with two neat finishes.
It was Lancaster who started on the front foot and should have been 1-0 up after just 10 minutes but Neil Marshall’s free header from a Ryan Winder free-kick went well over the bar.
Then Tom Kilifin weaved his way past three Northwich defenders to get a shot away which flew out of the ground.
But just as City looked to be pushing for an opener they went behind, a perfectly placed cross eluding several Lancaster defenders before Howard bundled the ball into the back of the net from three yards.
Northwich had scored against the run of play but they asserted their dominance on the game immediately after going in front.
And with just over half an hour gone the visitors doubled their lead as Bennett found himself in acres of space on the edge of the box and rifled a shot past Mike Hale and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
City were far from down and out however and had the ball in the back of the net as Craig Carney’s shot was deflected off a Northwich defender, over the keeper and in.
But the linesman adjudged the ball to have come off a Lancaster player and disallowed it for offside.
Phil Brown’s side didn’t have to wait long for retribution though as with three minutes left of the first half to go Akrigg found himself one-on-one with the ‘keeper and neatly slotted home to give the Lancaster faithful some hope going into half-time.
City started the second half with clear intent and Kilifin had the first real chance as his bullet header went just over.
The Dolly Blues continued to push and eventually found the equaliser.
A fine ball over the top landed at the feet of Akrigg who used his pace to get past a Northwich defender and found himself one-on-one with the keeper yet again. This time Akrigg chipped the ball over Mason Springthorpe to make it 2-2 with 15 minutes to go.
Suddenly the game was wide open as both sides pushed for a winner.
Winder saw his curling free-kick tipped over the bar before Northwich substitute Josh Amis should have netted the winner with his curling shot from 15 yards that went just wide of the far post.
Then with seconds remaining Kilifin was presented with the perfect chance to give Lancaster the three points as his tricky footwork left the Northwich defence confused but his shot sailed over the bar to ensure that the score remained 2-2.
Lancaster City: Hale, Henry, Clark, Watson, Marshall, Mercer, Winder, Akrigg, Kilifin, Carney, Davis (Clark). Subs not used: Cummings, Taylor, Rogerson.
Northwich Victoria: Springthorpe, Byrne, Duxbury, Krou (Ball), Clarke, Watson, Summerskill, Cook, Bennett (Amis), Howard (Sanogo), Burnett. Subs not used: Ali, King.
Referee: Leigh Doughty.