Vics' continued their impressive run of form last night, defeating play-off chasing Lancaster City by three goals to one.
Hit-man Gary Burnett scored his 17th goal of the season soon after the resumption, before visiting ex-Vics' winger Lee Dodgson put the Dolly Blues' back on terms. The returning Jordan Hadfield nudged Vics' back in front with a superb header from a well-worked team move and man of the match Callum Henry sealed the points late-on.
The unbeaten run now stands at 11 matches in all competitions.
Tuesday 1st April 2014. Valley Rd, Flixton.
EvoStikNPL Division One North.
Vics - Deasy, Smalley, Henry, Meadowcroft, Schofield, Sanogo (Hadfield 55'), Wisdom (C), Summerskill, Greenwood, Burnett (Clarke 66'), Amis (Stott 83'). Unused sub - Harries.
Lancaster City - Hayle, Hendry, Davis, Marshall (C), Clarke, Hunter, Winder, Walker, Wearing, Taylor, Dodgson. Subs - Akrigg, Donlan, Donnelly, Hudson, Kilifin.
Bookings - Vics' (None). Lancaster City (None).
Unavailable for Vics' - Marc Joseph (suspended), Jamie Phoenix (Rib).
Prior to kick-off a minutes silence was impeccably observed and the players wore black armbands as a mark of respect for life-long Vics fan Graham Allen who passed away last week.
The game opened up at a lively pace with Vics' confidence showing owing to their recent unbeaten run and Lancaster after the three points to cement an end of season play-off position.
Vics should have taken the lead as early as the sixth minute, Josh Amis brought down a pass over the top from Brian Summerskill but could only volley wide on the full with 'keeper Hayle exposed.
The Dolly Blues' 'skipper Nigel Marshall then missed a sitter in the 12th minute - kneeing the ball wide from point-blank range after ex-Vics' winger Lee Dodgson's corner fell perfectly for him.
The match then entered a period of scrappy play, both sides squandering possession and conceding niggly fouls. The next opening fell to the visitors; Simon Wearing teed up strike partner Aaron Taylor on the edge of the 6 yard box and scuffed his shot wide although he was put under pressure by imperious home defender Cal Henry.
Josh Amis then had the first half's last chance in the 44th minute - 'skipper Dan Wisdom played him in past defender Jacob Davis and he sent a daisy-cuttting effort just wide of Hayle's far post from just inside the box. Half-time arrived with the scoreline goal-less at 0-0.
Vics' started the second half on the front foot; with a real impetus and desire to their play - Gary Burnett opening the scoring with a slide-rule finish past the on-rushing 'keeper Hayle from the right hand edge of the 6 yard box after being slipped in on-goal by a fine pass into his feet by fellow striker Josh Amis in the 49th minute. Burnett is now on seventeen goals for the season and at an impressive ratio of a goal every two games.
Vics' gaffer Jim Gannon then made a change in the 54th minute, Jordan Hadfield replacing Abou Sanogo after a three-week absence through injury and suspension.
The Dolly Blues' were undeterred; and were back on terms at 1-1 in the 65th minute - ex-Vics' winger Lee Dodgson hooking the ball into the net with the outside of his right foot over Deasy from the left-hand side of the six-yard box under pressure from Vics' defender Chris Smalley. Vics' regained the lead in spectacular fashion just four minutes later in the 65th minute, Jordan Hadfield stole the ball from Gary Hunter just inside in his own half and spotted the marauding Chris Smalley charging down the right-hand touchline - he picked him out with a fantastic cross-field raking pass, Hadfield continued his run into the 6 yard box and Smalley picked him out with a curling pacy cross and he applied the finishing touch from short-range with a thumping diving header. It was one of the best goals of Vics' season so far.
Jim Gannon then made a second substitution, bringing on Michael Clarke for Gary Burnett in the 66th minute.
Lancaster midfielder Gary Hunter then picked up the ball five minutes later 25 yards out and fired a rocket shot just over the bar; although Tim Deasy looked to have the effort covered in any case.
Vics were now in the ascendancy; and took a 3-1 lead in the 79th minute - Smalley's ball out of defence was flicked on by Michael Clarke into the path of Josh Amis and his left-foot shot was parried out by Hayle for a Vics corner.
Matt Greenwood took the corner and 'keeper Hayle could only punch clear to Dan Meadowcroft on the edge of the box and he crossed to the unmarked Cal Henry who swept in from 3 yards out.
Vics' then saw the game out and added Lancaster City to the recent list of scalps in a now 11 game unbeaten run.
Vics' M.O.M - Callum Henry. As solid as a rock at the back, imperious at the heart of the defence and shackled the strike pair Wearing and Taylor efficiently. Popped up at the other end for the match-clinching goal too.
Vics' skipper Dan Wisdom spoke with me after the game - ''It's another great result against a team that's chasing the play-offs. Good to take the unbeaten run to 11 as well, the game was a close-run thing in the first half but we upped our game a level in the second half to come away with a great win in the end''.
Pictured - powerhouse midfielder Jordan Hadfield battles past ex-Vics' winger Lee Dodgson.
Vics' manager Jim Gannon's post-match reaction -
What another good display and result that was, Jim. How did you feel the game went?