It was a tale of two Ryans on Saturday as the Dolly Blues dispatched of Salford City at Giant Axe by a narrow one goal margin.
Lancaster showed great character by not only bouncing back from last Tuesday’s horror show against Ramsbottom , but also by coming from behind against a stern Salford outfit.
The visitors were certainly more lively in the opening stages with in-form Mike Hale called upon to turn striker Gary Prescott’s shot round the post in the opening five minutes.
Simon Wills, filling in at right back for the injured Rob Henry, went close for the hosts when his fierce drive just inside the box was smartly saved by Salford keeper Kieran O’Boyle.
The rebound fell to Mark Jackson who’s overhead kick was tame and straight at O’Boyle.
The game was certainly very open with Lancaster in particular creating a number of shooting opportunities but were guilty of wasteful finishing throughout the 90 minutes.
Jackson again had a decent opportunity just inside the Salford box but could only steer his effort into the side netting.
It was the visitors who were the first to open their account as City’s luck with offsides continued to evade them.
Midfielder Nelsom Mota flicked a ball through to Gary Prescott, a good yard offside, who made no mistake with a smart finish off the inside of Hale’s left hand post.
After conceding the Dolly Blues sprang into life and should have equalised when Elderton’s cross picked out Jackson unmarked on the penalty spot.
The resultant volley was just inches over the bar, but Lancaster finally got their equaliser on the stroke of half time.
Garry Hunter’s quickly taken corner bounced to Ryan Winder at the back post for a simple header into an empty net.
After the break the Dolly Blues dominated the openings of the second half with Jackson pulling another fine save out of O’Boyle and the dangerous looking Winder doing the same moments later.
The decisive goal fell on 56 minutes. Garry Hunter teed up Ryan Elderton from 22 yards who unleashed a beauty of a left footed strike that perfectly found the top right corner of the net to give City the lead.
Lancaster searched for a third goal but were again guilty of wayward finishing.
The home side amassed nearly 30 attempts at goal in the game but only 14 of these found the target with a majority falling straight at ‘keeper O’Boyle.
Salford did create a stand out chance to equalise late in the game when Gary Prescott broke the City lines but didn’t connect properly with his strike.
One on one with Hale the City keeper saved easily with his legs that just about wrapped up the three points.
Defender Ben Hudson was injured very late in the game with a suspected concussion which was a huge downside to the victory.
With Glenn Steel still weeks away from returning, and Rob Henry unfit, the next few weeks will be a real test for the Dollies’ injury-strained squad.
Lancaster City: Hale 8, Wills 7, Hudson 7 (Clark 85’), Marshall 7, Elderton 8, Winder 8, Akrigg 7, Hunter 8, Ince 7 (Sawicki 80’), Jackson 7, Wearing 7 (Liley 76’)
Subs not used: Mahoney, Macdonald
Starman: Ryan Elderton. Great goal to cap off solid defensive job.