A stunning comeback from Lancaster City made it two wins in two as they travelled to highly-fancied Warrington Town on Tuesday night.
The hosts boasted a side brimming with experience from higher leagues which has rightly made them one of the pre-season title favourites in the Evo-Stik First Division North
They were to prove an immense test for the Dolly Blues but it was one Darren Peacock’s side overcame, albeit just, as they overturned a 2-1 deficit to grab all three points in stoppage time at the HG Investment Stadium thanks to Tom Kilifin’s late, late strike.
The visitors came flying out the traps and opened the scoring after just three minutes.
Neil Marshall’s flicked header was controlled by Mark Jackson, who picked out Aaron Taylor in space in the box to calmly place the ball past Wire ‘keeper Craig Dootson to open the scoring.
As the first half wore on the game became increasingly physical and tempers slowly began to flare with Danny Mahoney in the thick of the action.
Spurred on by an enthusiastic Shaun Reid, the Wire manager serving a touchline ban and watching from the stands, the hosts eventually equalised.
David Mannix’s drilled free-kick from 20 yards found the bottom left corner to bring the sides level.
Warrington looked the more likely to score as the game went into half-time but wasteful and wayward finishing meant City ‘keeper Danny MacDonald was relatively untroubled.
But six minutes after the restart Warrington took a deserved lead.
Ben Wharton capitalised on a rare City defensive lapse, as a cross rebounded into the path of the striker who thumped the ball past a helpless MacDonald.
At 2-1 the game evened out after initial Wire pressure and Peacock introduced Ryan Winder on the right wing who almost had an immediate impact.
The midfielder cut inside past his man to fire a shot inches wide of the post in City’s first chance of the second half.
It was another tactical change that was to be crucial in the remarkable late comeback.
Simon Wearing replaced Taylor up front and Gavin Clark was introduced to allow Tom Kilifin to move from the left wing to join Wearing on the forward line.
With 10 minutes remaining, Wearing showed great confidence to run at the Wire defence, cut inside the box and fire a low shot under Dootson to tie the game at 2-2.
The former Morecambe youngster’s tenacity was key to City’s injury-time winner as well.
As the hosts pressed high up the pitch for a winner, Lancaster sprang a classic counter attack.
Wearing latched onto a long ball to again run at the Wire defence, cut inside the box from the left wing and hit a low shot that struck the post.
But Kilifin was in the right place at the right time to control the ball and hit a powerful shot into the roof of the net from six yards to win it at the death.
Lancaster City: MacDonald 6, Hudson 6, Marshall 7, Steel 7, Elderton 6, Akrigg 6 (Winder 68), Mahoney 6, Hunter 6, Kilifin 7, Jackson 7 (Clark 80), Taylor 7 (Wearing 80). Subs not used: Wills, Liley
Star man: Glen Steel - Another assured display from the experienced defender.