A tale of two halves saw Tom Kilifin fire Lancaster City to an impressive comeback as they earned a remarkable draw against play-off rivals Farsley.
A dismal opening 45 minutes was followed by a galvanised second half display to earn the Dolly Blues what may prove to be an important point as the promotion race looks set to go down to the wire.
After billing the game as the biggest of the season head coach Darren Peacock will have been frustrated by the response of his players after the opening whistle.
Farsley’s opened the scoring on just 12 minutes on the counter attack as Matthew Young reacted to convert the rebound after seeing his first effort well saved by Mike Hale.
Despite the poor first half showing Lancaster did have chances to level, with Garry Hunter rattling the bar from a free-kick and top scorer Kilifin drilling a shot inches wide from distance.
However it was the visitors who looked far more likely to go in at the break ahead. Only a top-drawer double save from Hale robbed Adam Priestley of doubling Farsley’s lead on the half hour mark, but three minutes before half-time there was no stopping the visiting striker.
Surging forward in numbers the ball broke to Robbie O’Brien on the edge of the box who threaded a ball across to Priestley in space who found the top corner with a sweet first-time strike.
City went into the break looking well beaten and the atmosphere around the ground was gloomy to say the least.
Peacock’s half-time team talk, coupled with the change of bringing Ben Hudson on for the injured Glenn Steel, worked wonders as Lancaster dominated the second half.
Nine minutes after the restart Kilifin handed the hosts a lifeline. Aaron Taylor flicked Neil Marshall’s long ball over the defence and into the path of Kilifin and showing great composure one-on-one the forward hit a right-footed shot past visiting stopper Tom Morgan to halve the deficit.
After hitting the bar following a goalmouth scramble the Dolly Blues looked certain to get back into the game and they levelled with 15 minutes remaining.
Lee Dodgson collected the ball and ran at the visiting defence and flicked a needle of a through ball onto Kilifin. The striker made no mistake and placed the ball neatly past Morgan from 10 yards to level the game.
Simon Wearing had the pick of the chances for Lancaster in their search for a winner that at half-time would have seemed highly improbable, but the youngster’s fierce drive from the edge of the box was narrowly over the bar.
City, following their midweek game at Northwich, were noticeably tiring as the game wound down and were unable to convert their possession and territory into the one last clear chance they needed.
The draw, which in many ways felt like a victory, and an inspiring second half performance should be the catalyst for the Dolly Blues as they prepare for a final five league games that will feel like five cup finals.
Lancaster City: Hale 7, Henry 7, Steel 6 (Hudson 45), Marshall 7, Elderton 6, Winder 6, Walker 6, Hunter 7, Clark 6 (Dodgson 58), Kilifin 8, Taylor 7 (Wearing 74). Subs not used: Donlan, Akrigg.
Star man: Tom Kilfin - Two goals rightly means he gets all the glory.