Ossett Town 1-3 Lancaster City

Tom Kilifin.
Tom Kilifin.

Lancaster City produced one of their best performances of the season to see-off promotion rivals Ossett Town in awful conditions on Saturday afternoon.

The conditions on paper promised an awful game of football, a howling gale blowing from end-to-end, a heavy pitch that cut up and made passing football impossible, and occasional rainfall just to add to the occasion.

City looked like a side on a mission and shone despite the grim weather playing with the wind in their sails in a memorable first half display.

The Ossett back-line struggled to get to grips with the bounce and travel of the ball and Lancaster repeatedly took advantage.

Jacob Gregory was the first to capitalise and beat the defence but his squared ball to Ryan Winder was cleared for a corner with the goal gaping.

This early sign wasn’t heeded and the visitors made light work of a ridiculously high-pressing Ossett back line for the opening goal.

Spotting the early run of Tom Kilifin, winger Gregory threaded a through-ball to the striker to run in on goal.

Despite the desperate shirt pulls of the chasing defender Kilifin kept his composure to find the bottom left corner of the net for his first goal back in a City shirt.

It didn’t take long for the Blues to get their second as they continually out-fought their opponents in the middle of the park.

Craig Carney this time collected the ball in midfield and fed Gregory who lashed a powerful effort over the keeper from the right side of the box to double City’s advantage.

Mike Hale had to be sharp, saving smartly with his feet from Danny Frost’s low first-time shot, but there was still time for Lancaster to miss one more golden chance as Gregory pounced on yet another mis-controlled bounce to get in on goal.

Instead of pulling the trigger he elected to pass across goal for Jordan Connerton but the pass was agonisingly over-hit.

The Dolly Blues started the second half just as they did the first and won a penalty a minute after the restart after Ryan Winder was tripped in the box. Connerton stepped up to calmly dispatch the spot-kick and net his 20th league goal of the season.

Connerton almost made it four after ‘keeper Leigh Overton and his defenders collided but his shot from a tight angle was just wide of the far post.

Gregory had the last meaningful chance for Lancaster, drawing a good save out of Overton in the Ossett goal down low to his right.

The final action saw a corner kick from the right by Steve Ridley which was floated into the box and the wind curled it out of everyone’s reach and straight into the Dollies’ net.

Lancaster City: Hale, Henry, Steel , Mercer, Sumner (Clark 88), Gregory (Birch 78), Carney, Wills, Winder, Connerton, Kilifin (Akrigg 60). Subs not used: Hudson, Mayers

Star man: Simon Wills