Hefty defeat for Isle of Man in Lancaster City friendly

in Football

Island Games gold medallists, Isle of Man, lost in their return to action on a visit to the Giant Axe Stadium, home of Lancaster City FC, at the weekend.

It was the Men’s first match since their gold medal success in Gotland, Sweden last month.

Nick Hurt’s side saw a number of players unavailable through from injuries following their exploits in Gotland or other commitments, therefore a scratch squad made its way over to the UK.

A minute’s silence was observed before kick off in memory of Corinthians’ Joe Greene who tragically died last week while on holiday at the age of 18.

Frank Jones went close for the Isle of Man early on with a long-range strike that narrowly flew over the target.

But it was the hosts who quickly opened up a two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Bill Akrigg and Charlie Bailey.

Josh Ridings and Alex Holden nearly reduced the deficit for the Manx, but Lancaster soon made it 3-0 when Akrigg again struck on the half-hour mark

The Isle of Man players kept plugging away and again nearly got on the scoresheet when Holden’s low effort was tipped wide. From the resulting corner and melee, Stephen Riding drove an effort over the crossbar.

The Giant Axe stadium side added two more goals before half-time as strikes from Ryan Winder and Oliver Wood saw Lancaster City register a 5-0 half-time lead.

After the break there was a Manx fightback. Sean Doyle’s effort was well-saved resulting in a corner and, from the flag-kick, Johnny Myers directed his header into the roof of the goal to pull one back.

On 55 minutes Holden’s chip had the goalkeeper beaten, however a defender headed clear conceding another corner-kick.

From the resulting set-piece, Doyle’s header hit the crossbar before Brody Patience was on hand to convert the rebound.

Island goalkeeper Owen Dawson then pulled off three class saves at the other side of the pitch to keep his side in the game.

The Isle of Mnn fightback saw them register a third on 78 minutes when Holden dispossessed the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into an empty net to make it 5-3.

In the closing stages though, Bailey scored twice to complete a hat-trick for the hosts and extinguish any hopes of the Manx completing a remarkable turnaround.

The Isle of Man men’s team will be busy in the forthcoming months.

They will be featuring in the FA Inter-League Cup and the Umbro Cup, the latter of which will be hosted in Glasgow, Scotland.

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