Mossley 0-1 Lancaster City

Ryan Winder.  Picture: Tony North
Ryan Winder. Picture: Tony North

Ryan Winder’s volley 10 minutes into the second half was the difference in an otherwise scrappy game in difficult playing conditions.

A third straight win for Lancaster City moved them nine points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik First Division North, second in the table Farsley Celtic having three games in hand.

It was far from straightforward though as even before the match started the pitch looked in dire straights.

Strips of surface water and a patchy grass surface led to a heavy pitch that at times slowed the game down to a scrappy crawl.

The hosts were bigger, older and on paper more suited to the conditions with their direct style of play.

Phil Brown’s side had the superior technical qualities however and they showed in the opening stages that were dominated by the visitors.

Glenn Steel had the best chance of the opening exchanges as he volleyed wide from a set-piece knock-down, whilst Louis Mayers couldn’t capitalise on a poor defensive clearance, lashing a first-time shot narrowly wide of the near post.

The rest of the game was a midfield slog with crunching tackles and sheer determination from both sides who to their credit gave their all in the freezing conditions.

The Dolly Blues started the second half on the front foot and this time were able to make their dominance count.

Paul Jarvis whipped in a teasing cross from the left flank which was glanced to the back post by the head of Jordan Connerton.

Waiting was Winder who watched the ball down onto his right foot, lashing a volley into the bottom left corner from the edge of the six-yard box.

That moment of quality proved to be the difference between the two sides with a couple of goalmouth scrambles at either end playing the game out to the lone goal margin that was just rewards for the Dollies’ superb efforts.

Lancaster City: Hale 8, Henry 7, Steel 7, Mercer 8, Sumner 7, Winder 8, Wills 9, Carney 7, Jarvis 7, Connerton 7 (Akrigg 65), Mayers 7 (Kilifin 79). Subs not used: Clark, Westwood, Gregory

Star Man: Simon Wills - Shone in his physical midfield role.