Paul Dawson scored a last minute winner on his Lancaster City debut on Saturday as the Dolly Blues beat Witton Albion 1-0 at the Giant Axe.
Both teams found the going tough early on due to the heavy rain and the pitch cutting up badly, with neither side creating anything of note.
The first real incident came in the 17th minute when Witton left back Matthew Devine played a lovely throughball in behind the City defence, he found striker Will Jones who, at full stretch, caught Jack Sims in the Dolly Blues’ goal and was shown a yellow card for the late challenge.
Witton had the first real goalscoring chance of the game when a cross from the right was headed home by Tom Owens, but the linesman’s flag was up and the goal was ruled out.
In the 24th minute City had their first chance when Greg Hall was forced to tip over a deflected cross from the left, but Witton went close sooner after when after a quick counter Devine found himself free out on the left but his shot from just inside the penalty area failed to hit the target.
However, it was the Dolly Blues who had the best chance of the half when a corner was curled in from the left and was met by the head of Dawson six yards out, but Hall made a superb diving save to keep the scores level going into half time. Sims was forced into the action within the opening minutes of the second period when he saved with his feet from winger James Foley, who found space towards the left hand side of the penalty area after some excellent build up play by the visitors.
Brad Carsley was denied in the 49th minute when his shot on the half volley from close range was excellently saved by the diving Hall in the Witton goal. Carsley went close once again in the 51st minute when he headed goalwards from another corner but Hall was once again there to keep the ball out, making a diving save to his left and the defence cleared it to safety after.
Midway through the second half though Witton came extremely close to breaking the deadlock when Devine attacked down the left and played in Owens.
The Witton number eight knocked the ball past Sims, but City centre back Glenn Steel’s outstretched leg sent the ball crashing against the post and the Dollies were able to clear the danger.
Rob Wilson found space on the edge of the penalty area in the 69th minute but his shot was comfortably held by Hall, and nine minutes later Wilson was in the action again, this time whipping in a freekick but Carlsley’s header from close range somehow went wide.
Carsley had another chance moments later when he ran on to a throughball but the keeper came rushing off his line and smothered his shot to deny the City forward.
The Dolly Blues’ pressure was growing though and in the final minute Charlie Bailey brought another save out of Hall after an outstanding counter attack.
Dawson won a 50-50 challenge out on the right and played in Matty Blinkhorn, after his initial cross rebounded straight back to him he laid the ball off to substitute Bailey who cut inside and fired his shot goalwards, only for Hall to make an acrobatic save to tip the ball over.
However, City weren’t finished there though. From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Dawson inside the six yard box and he prodded it home to earn the Dolly Blues all three points in what was a closely fought game in very testing conditions.