Lancaster City 0-2 CLitheroe

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LANCASTER City are still waiting for their poor run of form to end after slipping to a 2-0 defeat at home to Clitheroe.

The visitors, who were placed 17th before the game began, had only picked up one win on their travels before their journey to the Giant Axe.

The Boxing Day derby was set amongst blustery winds and occasional downpours and the difficult conditions played their part in what was a miserable afternoon for the Dolly Blues.

City also had to cope with absence of suspended Alex Kenyon and top scorer Danny Hattersley.

The opening period saw City have the majority of possession whilst creating no clear-cut chances.

Marshall and Bunney both saw headers sail well over the bar from a flurry of corners as Lancaster pressured in vain with what was shaping up to be another toothless attacking display. Seemingly short on confidence and out of form, simple passes were going astray and there was little shape to a Lancaster side that have scored only once in their last four league games.

The scoreless and event-less first half dragged into the interval accompanied with a feeling of winter déjà vu around Giant Axe.

The restart provided brief glimpses of hope, with Elderton curling a corner onto the post before Rothwell and Swarbrick both saw their shots inside the box blocked by a strong and well-organised Clitheroe defence.

Elderton fired a long range shot, producing a fine parried save from keeper Zack Hibbert, before a decisive break-away opened the scoring in all too familiar circumstances for the Dolly Blues.

On the seventy minute mark a deep searching cross from the right flank found an unmarked Marcus Calvert at the back post with acres of space and time to slide the ball into an open net to give Clitheroe a lead that City never looked like threatening.

The introductions of Lee Dodgson and young debutant Rhys Turner provided a brief surge of energy with Rhys Turner volleying Dodgson’s left-wing cross over the bar from 12 yards before Clitheroe sealed the points three minutes from time.

Ashley Parillon was this time on back post duty to sweep in a bobbling pass across goal and condemn City to their second defeat in four games.

Lancaster have picked up two points from twelve in their last four games, poor Christmas form which has become a regular occurrence for the Dolly Blues over recent years.

Things don’t get any easier for City as they travel to high-flying AFC Fylde on Monday, with the need for a turnaround in form becoming ever more desperate.

Lancaster City: Fearon 6, Henry 5, Gregson 5, Marshall 6, Elderton 6, Clark 5, Wills 5, Rothwell 5 (Dodgson), Wood 5, Swarbrick 5 (Turner), Bunney 5

Unused Subs: Meaney, Edgerton-Wilson, McKenna

Starman: Kev Brown - Visitors’ captain a defensive powerhouse all game.