Lancaster City played out a frustrating draw with Burscough on bank holiday Monday.
On a stifling hot afternoon that had a pre-season feel about it, the Dolly Blues were made to pay for missed chances and a rare shaky defensive display.
The home side made a fantastic start when Tom Kilifin netted his second goal of the season, the striker turned winger converting Danny Mahoney’s pass from close range on three minutes.
The Dolly Blues controlled the early stages of the game without created too many chances.
The opportunities that came to them were more often than not snatched at, as both Mahoney and Billy Akrigg drilled shots over the bar from 20 yards.
Glenn Steel saw a headed effort from a corner sail over the bar, whilst Aaron Taylor had a shot cleared off the line later in the half.
Mark Jackson also had an attempt from just inside the area, which ‘keeper Tim Horn tipped around the post.
A warning shot was fired when Burscough striker Liam Craddock snuck behind the City defence only to chip a ball over Danny MacDonald and wide of the post. Lancaster went into half-time a goal to the good, deservedly so on the balance of play, but with only a slender lead the visitors always had a chance of getting themselves back into the game.
And Burscough started the second half much brighter as City’s backline looked unusually nervy on the ball.
In contrast to the openings of the first half, the Dolly Blues were unable to hold onto the ball and find any rhythm as the visitors pressed high up the pitch and eventually had a foothold in the game when they drew level.
The equaliser mid-way through the second period was well worked as Conor Roberts was set up on the edge of the box to fire a fiercely struck shot into the bottom-left corner.
As the game wore on in the unwavering heat it was the hosts who ended the game on the up, with Mahoney shooting over the bar inside the box and both Billy Akrigg and Jackson missing with free headers.
The Dolly Blues frustration was heightened when Simon Wills’ drilled cross was blocked by the arm of defender Liam Dodd inside the box, referee Richard Holmes waving away City’s furious appeals.
In a missed opportunity to complete an impressive opening set of results, Lancaster will look on this game as one where they never really got going.
With the prize money of the FA Cup at stake next, they have to dust down and regroup with the knowledge that they are still unbeaten when they travel to Farsley on Saturday.
Lancaster City: MacDonald 7, Hudson 6 (Wills), Steel 6, Marshall 5, Elderton 5, Akrigg 6 (Winder), Hunter 6, Mahoney 5, Kilifin 7, Jackson 5, Taylor 5 (Wearing).
Star man: Tom Kilifin - One of the few consistent performers and deserved his goal.