Lancaster City see off title chasers

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Lancaster City’s bid to force their way into the NPL Premier Division play-offs were dented by 0-0 draw at home to lowly Hyde United.

The forward’s superb finish in the 20th minute was good enough to see the Dolly Blues defeat second-placed South Shields at Giant Axe.

The loss for the Mariners – who are full-time and have long been held as the favourites to win automatic promotion this season – means it is advantage Buxton in the race for the title.

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The Bucks are four points ahead the North East outfit having now played the same number of games.

Joe Rodwell-Grant on the ball (photo: Phil Dawson)Joe Rodwell-Grant on the ball (photo: Phil Dawson)
Joe Rodwell-Grant on the ball (photo: Phil Dawson)

For City, the huge win may have come too late in the day in terms of forcing their way into the play-offs but with eight games still to play, Mark Fell’s men will keep believing.

Boosted by the return of skipper Andy Teague – who had been sidelined with injury – and the debut of AFC Fylde loan defender jack Byrne, City were able to keep the visitors’ forward line at bay while causing problems themselves at the other end.

City striker Nathan Reid had the first real effort of the match but his effort from 20 yards skewed wide off the mark.

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Sam Bailey almost caught out Myles Boney in the 16th minute but the Shields’ keeper was able to tip the ball over the bar. However, four minutes later, Sam’s brother Charlie opened the scoring.

Christian Sloan picked up the ball in midfield and played it wide to Liam Brockbank.

The left full-back advanced before returning the ball to Sloan who then picked out Charlie Bailey in the penalty area. With men around him, the City forward still had work to do but he cut inside and unleashed a fierce drive which beat Boney at his near post.

The host continued to push forward with Joe Blanchard nodding wide and Joe Rodwell-Grant blazing over the bar.

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Shields had offered very little going forward in the opening half but four minutes into the second period, they had a good chance when Darius Osei pounced on a loose ball but he fired just wide.

On the hour mark, Charlie Bailey flashed an inviting centre across goal while Rodwell-Grant’s low drive was held by Boney. Shields threw everything forward in the final 20 minutes but despite efforts from JJ Hooper, Nathan Lowe and Jordan Hunter, City held on for a famous win.

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