Nico hat-trick sees Dolly Blues finally win at Morpeth

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Nico Evangelinos hit a superb hat-trick as Lancaster City finally got the better of Morpeth Town on their own patch – and professed to the next round of the FA Trophy.

The Dolly Blues made the well-worn trek to Craik Park once more on Saturday – it was their fifth visit there in just over a year – the previous four trips and failed to garner a single victory.

Despite losing 6-3 there last month in the NPL Premier Division, City finally had that winning feeling in an electric 3-2.

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It was not looking promising, though, when City fell behind early to a contentious penalty awarded after a challenge by Jamie Mellen. Dale Pearson took the opportunity to sidefoot the ball calmly into the bottom right corner.

Nico Evangelinos scored a hat-trick against Morpeth (photo:Phil Dawson)Nico Evangelinos scored a hat-trick against Morpeth (photo:Phil Dawson)
Nico Evangelinos scored a hat-trick against Morpeth (photo:Phil Dawson)

The perceived injustice seemed to rouse the Dollies into action. Sam Bailey delivered a superb cross was put an inch wide by Dom Lawson on the volley, and a minute later he forced an awkward save from Dan Lowson.

The Dolly Blues finally earned parity when a quick City counter saw Dale Whitham bundled over and Evangelinos did the rest from the penalty spot.

That goal boosted City and took a stranglehold on the match after half-time.

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Bailey was catalyst for much of the visitors’ good play. he set up Evangelinos who was denied by Lowson, but that did not deter the striker who pounced moments later as Bailey put in another great delivery which Whitham headed against the bar. He was much quicker than the scrambling defence and headed home.

Evangelinos then struck the decisive goal of the tie, jumping on a half-cleared Kyle Brownhill cross and striking the knee-high ball well beyond the reach of Lowson.

The Highwaymen tried in vain to get back in the match, bringing on former City loan ace Sam Fishburn. They did pull a goal back when Pearson tapped his second in to set up a nervy final period but City held on for a morale-boosting victory.

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