LANCASTER won their three recent games to continue an unbeaten start to their North Lancashire League campaign for 2012.
First up were Burnley at Salt Ayre. Lancaster were missing Michael Brown and Rysz Detko from the regular line up but still proved far superior to a re-formed Burnley squad.
The Burnley team can present a few problems in their own shallow end pool but Salt Ayre proved to be a whole different ball game.
Lancaster’s Katie Hesketh, refereeing in her first North Lancashire League game, wasn’t posed too many problems as the home side romped to victory.
Included in the squad were youngsters Zak Lamb, Dean Akister and Josh Barratt but the home side were in charge throughout.
After a few minutes settling down Robert Simpson (2), James Alker and Scott Sharpe netted for Lancaster as the first quarter ended with the home side 4-0 to the good.
The second period saw eight more goals for Lancaster without reply with keeper Zak Sly virtually a spectator.
The third period followed a similar pattern with a further 10 goals for the home side with eight different players getting on the score sheet.
Sam Smith netted his sixth a minute and a half into the final period and Lancaster’s goal spree continued with a further five goals.
The other scorers were Robert Simpson (4), James Alker (2), Zak Lamb (2), Noel Howson (4), Decland Ellwood (3), Scott Sharpe (3), Steve Smith (1) and Jake Starkie (3).
Lancaster completed a respectable double over Cumbrian rivals Kendal with a narrow hard fought win.
Despite the closeness of the game Lancaster always seemed to have a slight edge and were never behind during the match with all thirteen squad members playing their part.
Decland Ellwood, Noel Howson and Sam Smith gave Lancaster a 3-1 first period lead with Steve Smith and Ben Walker looking solid in defence.
Kendal pulled the game back in the second period, first pulling a goal back from a penalty then equalising after the home side had wasted a man up situation.
Elliot Trafford netted for Lancaster but Lancaster’s national league player Mark Robinson equalised for his local team.
The third period featured five exclusions, four against Lancaster and three against Kendal as well as a penalty award to Kendal a minute from the end of the period.
Sly got his fingertips to the ball but was unable to prevent the ball hitting the back of the net but a goal from Michael Brown gave Lancaster a two goal cushion going into the final period.
The tension increased when Kendal reduced the deficit to one three minutes in but 2two goals from Decland Ellwood eased the pressure again.
A double exclusion affecting each side two minutes from the end of the game briefly unsettled Lancaster and Kendal took almost immediate advantage, reducing the deficit to two again.
As Lancaster threw away possession up front a tenth goal was scored by Kendal a minute from the end which provided a nervous ending to the game, but Lancaster held on to possession and allowed the clock to tick down.
The Lancaster scorers were Ben walker (1), Noel Howson (1), Sam Smith (3), Michael brown (1), Decland Ellwood (3), Scott Sharpe (1).
In their most recent game at Salt Ayre Lancaster entertained Preston with a side missing four of their key players.
Not surprisingly, Preston suffered the consequences as Lancaster’s more experienced players dominated throughout with Barratt, Lamb and Akister again replacing Brown and Detko in the squad.
In a very one sided game it took Preston until the fourth minute in the final period to get on the score sheet, by which time Lancaster were 23 goals to the good.
By this time, struggling to make inroads up front against the likes of Steve Smith, Robert Simpson, Scott Sharpe and Ben Walker, the opposition had taken to having pot shots from different parts of the pool.
Lacking real intensity and accuracy, Zak Sly was able to deal with these comfortably.
Although to some degree expected as he was playing centre forward, star performance still went to Decland Ellwood who notched 10 goals, scoring in every period.
Next were Sam Smith and Elliot Trafford who both netted five times.
Other goal scorers were Steve Smith (1), Scott Sharpe (1), Zak Lamb (1), Dean Akister (1), Josh Barratt (3) and, Robert Simpson (1).
Lancaster squad: Z Sly, Steve Smith, Sam Smith, R. Simpson, B Walker, S Sharpe, R Detko, E Trafford, D Ellwood, Z Lamb, D Akister, J Barratt, N Howson, J Starkie, M Brown.