LANCASTER CITY suffered a second consecutive defeat on Tuesday night as Durham City hammered them 5-0.
It was a bumper night of goal action across the Evo-Stik board as 37 goals were dispatched across the eight games but these five were tough to take for a youthful City side.
The defeat leaves City in ninth, just over halfway through this frost-hit season, with 19 league games to claw back an eight point deficit in the play-off race.
City’s teenage centre-back pairing of Alex Kenyon and Sam Wilson – captain Neil Marshall was missing as he awaited the birth of his first child – were flanked by stand-in captain Rob Henry, 23 and Sam Nightingale, 18.
With an average age of just 19 they were up against a tricky forward line who struck an early blow through David Dowson.
He showed neat footwork on the edge of the box to gain half a yard and hit a well struck shot into the bottom right corner.
The second had an element of luck as the excellent Tommy English’s pass was deflected through for Amar Purewal to lift the ball over Martin Fearon.
This was City’s biggest defeat since a pre-season hammering from Crew Alexandra, to their credit City did not let their heads drop and had Danny Hattersley converted Rob Henry’s cross with his it could have been a different tale in the second half.
That was not to be and set-pieces proved the undoing of the Dolly Blues as the second-half got under way as burly Durham captain Ross Wilkinson grabbed a brace.
First he broke through after a corner was not cleared and grabbed a similar lobbed finish to Purewal’s, then he powered a header past Fearon leaving the Coty ‘keeper with no chance.
City threw young Fleetwood loanees Liam Wynn and Jack Duggan into the melée with half an hour to go and they accounted for themselves well with Duggan, a centre-back, looking particularly promising.
The fifth was the most well crafted and finished of this game’s goals as Kevin Thompson beat Henry on the left and angled a brilliant cross for substitute David Pounder to finish with aplomb.
The Dolly Blues now have two games in three days to contend with as they take on Curzon Ashton in the President’s cup on Thursday night before travelling to Bamber Bridge on Saturday.
Durham City: Winter, Baitey, Ayre, Stephenson, Wilkinson, Purewal Ar, Purewal Am, Graham, Dowson (Pounder 45), Thompson (Winter 60), English
Subs not used: Harbord, Cutts, Graham
Lancaster City: Fearon 5, Henry 7, Nightingale 5, Wilson S 5 (Duggan 61), Kenyon 5, Roberts (Wilson 45), Swarbrick 5, Farrell 5, Hattersley (Wynn 61), Rothwell, Hall
Subs not used: McKenna, Rushton
Referee: Paul Brown
Star man: Rob Henry – a torrid evening but organised the defence well and battled to the end