The Dolly Blues gave themselves a fighting chance of stealing the final play-off spot with a vital victory over local rivals Kendal Town on Easter Monday.
It was a warm and sunny day at Parkside Road that had an almost end of season feel to the early stages as neither team looked sharp or managed to take control.
Kendal top scorer Danny Mitchley saw a dipping shot from the edge of the box glance the top of the bar in the best chance for the hosts in a drab opening 45 minutes which saw few clear cut chances.
Tom Kilifin blazed over the bar for City from the edge of the box whilst the returning Dave Swarbrick added some extra energy to the Lancaster frontline.
Kendal’s ex-City midfield partnership of Rob Wilson and Craig Carney was on top in the middle of the park, but neither were able to find the killer pass to unlock a resolute Lancaster defence and the first-half ended goalless.
After the restart the match continued in a stop-start vein before the Dolly Blues went decisively ahead 18 minutes from time.
Former City keeper Danny MacDonald dropped a deep cross from Kilifin on the right flank under a robust challenge from Gavin Clark and despite similar instances drawing the referee’s whistle David Fisher allowed play to continue and Billy Akrigg was all alone on the penalty spot to volley into an empty net.
The goal drew huge celebrations from the visiting players and supporters, who had travelled up the M6 in large numbers, whilst Kendal were left arguing their case for the challenge on MacDonald to no avail.
Swarbrick almost got the goal his effort on the day deserved late into added time but Akrigg’s cross just evaded the striker through on goal with just MacDonald to beat.
There was a brief scare for the Dollies in injury time as Kendal almost snatched a dramatic late equaliser.
Town striker Mitchley was given space to turn and hook a shot from the edge of the box that beat Hale but bounced off the outside of the post and was cleared to safety.
The referee’s final whistle ensured that Lancaster’s play-off hopes remain alive going into the final game of the season with victory against Curzon Ashton at Giant Axe now the only hope.
Lancaster City: Hale 6, Hudson 8, Davis 8, Marshall 7, Elderton 8, Winder 6, Hunter 6, Akrigg 8, Dodgson 8 (Clark 65), Kilifin 6 (Wearing 80), Swarbrick 7. Subs not used: Donlon, Donnelly, Walker.
Star man: Ben Hudson. Solid two-way showing from the full-back.