Sutton Coldfield Town 0-2 Lancaster City: Dolly Blues back to winning ways

Louis Mayers  sealed the points for Lancaster City at Sutton Coldfield Town on Saturday.
Louis Mayers sealed the points for Lancaster City at Sutton Coldfield Town on Saturday.

A welcome to return to winning ways on Saturday saw the Dolly Blues see off struggling Sutton Coldfield Town at Coles Lane.

Despite the artificial surface, once a notorious hurdle for previous City teams, Phil Brown’s side took home all three points thanks to goals from Oliver Wood and Louis Mayers.

A good rearguard performance was essential to keeping the clean sheet that allowed the Dollies’ forwards the chance to win the game, with new signing Sam Hibbert providing an assured display at the heart of the defence.

The closest the hosts came to a goal was early in the match when Reece Hutchinson’s looping shot from distance bouncing off the top of the bar.

City returned fire with Scott Harries hitting the bar with a cross-shot before the winger dragged an effort inches wide from the edge of the box.

On the stroke of half-time Lancaster thought they had the lead.

Royals’ debutant ‘keeper Nicky Draper dropped a corner into the six-yard box but blocked two close-range attempts from Ricky Mercer with the rebound falling to Tom Kilifin at the back post to prod home, but the whistle blew from referee Wayne Barrett.

A foul appeared to have been given against Mercer, despite the ball being loose and seemingly free to challenge, and a perplexed Dolly Blues side went in level at the break.

With the rain beginning to fall on the 3G surface, the ball began to roll and bounce with more zip and City controlled the game.

The breakthrough finally arrived on the hour mark. Ben Hudson’s free-kick into the box was headed down by Glenn Steel into the path of Wood to curl into the far corner with a neat finish to open the scoring.

There wasn’t much to write home about until the dying minutes when substitute Hannu Tam won a free-kick deep into added time after a driving run on the counter attack.

Sam Bailey stepped up and hit a powerful effort that bounced in front of Draper and was spilled into the path of Mayers who coolly converted from close range to seal the win.

Lancaster City: Powell 8, Hudson 8 Hibbert 9, Steel 9, Mercer 9, Dugdale 8, Harries 7, Carney 7, Wills 8, Kilifin 7, Wood 8.

Star Man: Sam Hibbert - Assured defensive debut.