Lancaster City picked up their first win in six games on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Sutton Coldfield Town in the Evo-Stik Premier Division at Giant Axe.
Captain Craig Carney and winger Sam Bailey netted for the Dolly Blues in the first half before substitute Lee Smith pulled one back for the visitors towards the end of the game.
Preston loanee Connor Simpson, who featured for the Lilywhites at Villa Park just over a month ago, made his home debut for Lancaster while Billy Akrigg and Tom Kilifin received awards for making more than 200 appearances for the club.
Sutton Coldfield, who sit at the bottom of the table, were looking for their first win in four games.
It was a fairly even start to the game, but Lancaster had most of the chances in the first half and they soon got on top.
Nine minutes in, Simpson could’ve opened his account for the Dolly Blues but he put the ball wide following Billy Akrigg’s pinpoint cross.Chances were few and far between for much of the first half until Lancaster took the lead in stunning fashion in the 33rd minute.
Carney hit the ball high on the volley and it looped over the keeper and into the top-left corner.
Ten minutes later the hosts came close again after full back Paul Dugdale made a good run on the left and put the ball through to Kilifin whose effort went just wide.
Lancaster doubled their lead on the brink of half-time when Akrigg’s impressive ball met the head of Sam Bailey at the far post and beat the keeper.
Sam Bailey linked up with his brother Charlie in the 66th minute with a great ball but the latter could only fire wide of the mark.
Sutton Coldfield substitute Niall Flint had two chances in the 71st and 81st minute respectively – the first going wide and the second saved by keeper Elliot Wynne with ease.
The visitors did put up a bit of a fight in the final 10 minutes, and in the 85th minute they got a goal back through Smith. Veteran forward Justin Richards had a close-range header denied by Wynne and then Smith volleyed home powerfully into the top-corner after getting on the end of the resultant corner.
However the side from the Midlands failed to complete their comeback, meaning Lancaster picked up a welcome three points at the start of a busy Easter weekend.
Lancaster City: Wynne, Anson, Steel, Mercer, Dugdale, S Bailey (Winder 79), Wills, Carney (capt), Akrigg, Simpson (Williams 72), Kilifin (C Bailey 63).