Lancaster City 5-1 Trafford

A SECOND half master class from Lancaster City saw them brush aside a spirited Trafford and finally rejoin the playoff places.

The passing moves were slick and the chances were put away, City finally managed to build on their recent defensive stability to use it as a platform for goals, goals, and more goals.

Tom Wood showed a brilliant burst of pace, Simon Wills made it three tap-ins from two games with a six-yard brace, Lee Dodgson – looking at his confident best in the second 45- scored a stunning solo effort before Zac Clark rounded things off.

It was a tight opening half hour that City always looked like prising open with their rapid front quartet of Wood, Dodgson, Clark and the excellent Dave Swarbrick.

There was a decent chance at either end before Wood opened the scoring; first Michael Oates hooked a high bouncing ball wide before City’s flying ginger winger burst into the box but couldn’t’ get on top of a Clark cross and headed over.

His opener was brilliant, Alex Kenyon showed great vision in playing a through ball into his radar and giving away a good ten yards to three defenders he flew forward, took a touch and neatly finished with his right foot.

Criminally, City conceded, as they have done on a few occasions this term, moments after the restart.

A silly free-kick given away on the left hand side was not cleared, the ball bumped and bobbled around the box before Stuart Tulloch found a gap to poke it in.

Undeterred, City pressed forward, they played some lovely stuff into the strikers’ feet, creating space and showing patience on the ball- over 90 minutes it was some of the best football they have played in months.

The second and Wills’ first was very pleasing on the eye. It has been an oft-told story of this season that Ryan Elderton has been in imperious form going forward – taking nothing away from his defensive attributes either – and his first-half link-up with Wood ripped Trafford apart down that flank.

Elderton played the ball into Wood’s feet; the young winger drew out his full-back, waited for his teammate to overlap and tapped the ball into his path.

The fullback’s first time cross was inch perfect, whipped across the six-yard box for Wills to burst on to and tap in.

In similar fashion, Wills gave the Dolly Blues a two goal cushion on 65 minutes after Swarbrick had found space to cross on the right, this time he gave himself the luxury of a touch before scoring.

Alex Kenyon played a crucial role throughout, the destructive side to the midfielder’s play is always evident – he wins most headers and lets very little pass him in the middle of the park.

However, he combined the destructive with the constructive for City’s fourth as he won a crunching tackle just inside the Trafford half, was quickly to his feet and picking out Dodgson, who had space and former City defender, Farrell Kilbane, between him and the goal.

He showed a sublime mix of skill and pace to beat Kilbane and advance on the ‘keeper, finishing well with his right foot.

There was far less magic about the fifth as Clark mimicked Tulloch’s first half effort of scoring in a melee after Wood’s cross wasn’t cleared.

There were some brilliant performances all over the pitch, confidence has never seemed to be the Dolly Blues’ problem and perhaps this return to form was always on the horizon.

Fellow playoff hopefuls Garforth Town visit Giant Axe on Saturday and while the Dolly Blues look to make it four wins on the trot, the Yorkshire side are aiming for their third consecutive victory.

Lancaster City: Fearon 7, Henry 7 (Egerton-Wilson 82), Elderton 8, Duggan 7, Gregson 6, Kenyon 8 (Marshall 84), Clark 7, Wills 7 (Rothwell 83), Swarbrick 8, Dodgson 7, Wood 7

Subs not used: Meaney, Rogerson

Trafford: Robertson, Mason, Smart (White 73), Kilbane, Bayuna, Shaw, Tulloch (Lowry 73), Knight, Oates, Gallanders, Ashton

Subs not used: Carden, McGrath, Collier

Referee: David Underwood

Attendance: 168

Starman: Alex Kenyon - One of many brilliant showings, an all-round midfielder getting better all the time