Garforth 1-2 Lancaster City

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IN what continues to be a November to remember for the Dolly Blues, Lancaster City made it six wins in six with a hard-earned victory at Yorkshire outfit Garforth Town.

A dominating first half performance, with a Ryan Elderton strike and an own goal going City’s way, was key to the three points after wasteful second-half finishing created a tense and nervy final ten minutes.

It took only five minutes for Tony Hesketh’s men to create the first chance of the game and the ball was in the net but Dave Swarbrick’s rifling shot was rightly ruled out for offside.

Six minutes later the City striker had his second chance from 15 yards out in similar fashion after Lee Dodgson found the City man in space, but Swarbrick snatched the resulting effort over the bar.

City continued to create chances with the impressive Max Rothwell, playing in centre midfield in the absence of injured duo Craig Carney and Simon Wills, having a long-range effort tipped over the bar before an unmarked Lee Dodgson missed a golden chance heading a Zach Clark cross wide from four yards out with the goal at his mercy.

Lancaster finally got their deserved breakthrough on 33 minutes. Swarbrick’s looping pass was poorly cleared back across the middle of the penalty area by Garforth’s Darren Kelly and Elderton was in the right place at the right time to calmly sidefoot the ball past a scrambling Ben Higginson in the Garforth goal.

City doubled their advantage just before half-time when Dodgson’s short free-kick found Clark in acres of space on the edge of the box and the winger’s far post cross was deflected past the helpless Higginson by Garforth defender Jamie Price.

The Dolly Blues took a comfortable 2-0 lead into the interval and straight after the restart began pushing forward for a game killing third goal.

Dodgson was looking near his best at both ends as he curled a cross towards Clark, who in space volleyed over the bar before heading a Kelly effort over the bar on the City goal-line as Garforth began to take control of the game late in the second half.

Swarbrick had a chance to seal the game with ten minutes remaining after cutting inside well from the right but his driven effort one-on-one was disappointingly wide of the far post and City were made to pay for their wasted chances.

A rare mistake from Elderton allowed pacey Garforth winger Fernando Moke to set up Paul Walker, whose well-placed shot from 12 yards found the bottom corner on 89 minutes but it proved to be too little to late for the hosts.

City continued to defend well from a late onslaught of corners and even had a chance to wrap up the points when subs Alex Meaney and Michael Hall combined well on a counter attack with Hall slicing his one-on-one effort over the bar from a tight angle.

The hard-earned three points avenged the disappointing FA Trophy defeat in this fixture a month ago and with City now just seven points behind league leaders Curzon Ashton the fantastic travelling support went home in high spirits.

Hesketh’s men look to continue their great run of form as they travel to Durham City on Tuesday night before hosting Harrogate at Giant Axe on Saturday.

Lancaster City: Fearon 6, Henry 6, Gregson 8, Marshall (capt) 7, Elderton 8, Clark 7, Rothwell 8, Kenyon 7, Dodgson 8, Swarbrick 6, Hattersley 6.

Star man: Max Rothwell – A constant attacking threat from the middle of the park.