New Mills 3-1 Lancaster City

Lancaster City managers Neil Wainwright (left) and Michael Stringfellow.
Lancaster City managers Neil Wainwright (left) and Michael Stringfellow.

Promotion contenders New Mills were too strong for an injury-hit Lancaster City side on Saturday.

The hosts nearly took advantage of a patched-up Dolly Blues defence just three minutes into the game.

New Mills striker Daniel Douglas-Pringle dragged his shot wide of the post when clean through in a lucky escape for the visitors.

There was no escape on 19 minutes however when ex-City defender Sam Egerton-Wilson opened the scoring, Douglas-Pringle drew a fine save from City ‘keeper Rich Whiteside but the defender was the first to react and buried the rebound from close range.

Five minutes later New Mills doubled their tally, the influential Douglas-Pringle curled a delightful effort into the top-right corner from the edge of the box as the home side took a stranglehold on the game.

Shortly after only Leon Grandison knows how he didn’t make it three for the hosts. A yard out with an open goal at his mercy the winger inexplicably hit his shot against the post.

Whiteside was on top form to again deny Douglas-Pringle one-on-one before City had a golden chance to halve the deficit. Dave Swarbrick’s low drive from distance was well-saved by ‘keeper Andrew Mills, who then expertly saved Tom Kilifin’s follow-up effort just before half-time.

It took only two minutes after the restart for Lancaster to respond to their poor first-half performance.

Michael Stringfellow’s turn and shot from the edge of the box took a deflection off Mills’ defender Andrew Bowler and nestled in the bottom right-corner of the net. City’s revival lasted just four minutes however.

From a corner Chris Lucy had a free header at the back post for an easy goal to restore the Derbyshire side’s two-goal advantage.

The game took one last despondent turn for City when Dave Swarbrick saw red for a kick at his former team mate Egerton-Wilson off the ball.

A 10-man City had to hang on as Whiteside produced some magical saves, with a quality reaction save again one-on-one from the impressive Douglas-Pringle the pick of the bunch.

It wasn’t the greatest day at the office for the Dolly Blues with their fifth red card of the season and another impending three match ban unlikely to help the already injury-hit side.

City desperately need to start being more adventurous and pick up some morale-lifting points.

Lancaster City: Whiteside, Wainwright, Hudson, Marshall (capt), Elderton, Swarbrick, Wilson (Green), Stringfellow, Simpson (McKenna), Kilifin, Dodgson. Subs not used: Bradley, Naylor, McDonald.

Star man: Rich Whiteside - A fantastic display gave City a fighting chance.