Burscough 1-4 Lancaster City

Dave Swarbrick scored twice for Lancaster City at Burscough on Saturday.
Dave Swarbrick scored twice for Lancaster City at Burscough on Saturday.

Free-scoring Lancaster City had stressed before Saturday’s trip to Burscough the need to shore up a leaky defence to turn their offensive prowess in to points.

Whilst not without their scares the Dolly Blue defence performed admirably to earn an emphatic three points at Victoria Park to move them back in to the top half of the Evo-Stik First Division North.

Just two minutes after the opening whistle City were ahead.

Dave Swarbrick was in the right place to half-volley Ryan Elderton’s header into the bottom right corner as City began a period of early dominance.

Darren Green nearly doubled City’s lead when his neat finish was ruled out for offside before Tom Kilifin somehow skied Jake Simpson’s cross over the bar from six yards out.

Chances were difficult to take on an incredibly bobbly and uneven surface but City adapted well to the conditions, despite them hindering Kilifin again when through one-on-one.

Late in the first half Burscough had a period of pressure that saw them equalise on 35 minutes, Niall Cummins bursting through the City defence before finishing easily in to the roof of the net.

Darren Brookfield nearly put the home side ahead minutes later, his ambitious free-kick from a wide angle rattling the inside of the post and bouncing back across goal before being cleared to safety.

Just before half-time the goal of the afternoon was scored courtesy of the in-form Green.

Controlling a loose ball 25 yards from goal, the striker curled a delightful effort into the top-left corner of the goal to send the Dolly Blues into half-time 2-1 up.

Burscough went close to equalising when Cummins glanced a header wide before City doubled their advantage on 68 minutes.

Swarbrick’s corner appeared to hit the arm of skipper Neil Marshall but Lancaster played to the whistle and Kilifin smashed the ball into the net from two yards to seal the points.

The icing on the cake came with six minutes remaining when Green’s low cross was rifled just inside the near-post from 12 yards by Swarbrick to cap off a fantastic afternoon.

Lancaster City: McDonald 7, Hudson 7 (Gregson 45), Winters 7, Marshall 8, Short 7, Simpson 7 (Winder 75), Dodgson 7, Elderton 7, Swarbrick 8, Kilifin (Wills 75) 7, Green 8. Subs not used: Stringfellow, Clark

Star man: Neil Marshall. A great defensive performance instrumental to the three points.