Lancaster City 2-3 Ossett Town

Simon Wills scores past Ossett Town keeper Matthew Convey to double City's lead in the first half.
Simon Wills scores past Ossett Town keeper Matthew Convey to double City's lead in the first half.

Lancaster City somehow managed to throw away a two-goal lead and all three points in a naive and reckless last four minutes at Giant Axe.

Inside stoppage time the Yorkshire visitors drew level and surged ahead as the Dolly Blues capitulated in horrible fashion after leading 2-0 at the break.

When James Eyles bundled a header over from a corner City were under pressure from a side that had bested them physically over 89 minutes and when the board went up to signal for four minutes of added time the pressure increased.

Under it the Dolly Blues lost their heads, they failed to keep the ball in the Ossett half, frustratingly squandering a free-kick on one occasion by playing it short and losing possession when defender Danny Gregson had advanced into the opposition half.

Ossett substitute Mark Whitehouse turned the screw further with a thunderbolt of an effort into the roof of the net with 91 minutes on the clock and though the passion and effort was there City lacked a drop of composure to keep the ball in good areas.

The winner was a tad unfortunate, after a throw-in was conceded on the left a deep cross would have been cleared at the back post by Ryan Elderton were it not for an untimely slip; that led to a side footed pass back across goal which was tapped in by Simon Baldry.

Credit must go to the visitors whose desire to surge forward and win this game was palpable.

They were behind in a first-half they dominated and were it not for some good work from City ‘keeper Danny McDonald and some sloppy finishing they would have been level.

One save in particular, racing out of his net to stay big and deny Carl Stewart with his feet maintained City’s two-goal lead just before the half-time whistle.

Stewart, a combative right-winger who along with James Booker down the other flank gave the Dolly Blue full-backs a tough afternoon, missed a brace of other chances one when he had time to bring the ball down in the box but could only strike tamely and another that City defended well close in at the near post.

As it was Ossett were behind and the Dolly Blues had some laurels to rest on, perhaps a tighter scoreline may have focussed their minds more as City played better in the second 45 without ever really troubling Matthew Convey in the visiting net.

City’s goal were both pleasing on the eye, Dave Swarbrick opened the scoring with a rare and brilliantly placed header from 16 yards after a good free-kick from the right.

Just after the half hour mark Simon Wills made a brilliant run to gamble on Ryan Winder’s ball forward, it was missed by both centre-backs and Wills found himself free in the box to tap the ball round Convey and follow it into the net.

It was a tough afternoon for the Dolly Blues on a difficult Giant Axe pitch; this was a visiting side that came to play and to battle and didn’t ever look out of the game even at two goals down.

That being said they will go away scratching their heads as to how they lost that game in a crazy last five minutes.

Lancaster City: McDonald 7, Hudson 5, Elderton 5, Gregson 5, Marshall 5, Winters 5, Wills 6 (McKenna 85), Winder 5 (Clark 90), Swarbrick 6, Green 6 (Kilifin 77), Dodgson 6. Subs not used: Kelly, Fielding.

Ossett Town: Convey, Lloyd, Richardson (Parkinson 77), Sharry, Qualter, Milne (Hudson 87), Booker (Whitehouse 54), Patterson, Eyles, Baldry, Stewart. Subs not used: Payne.

Referee: Alan Bennett

Attendance: 159

Star man: Danny McDonald - For his first-half display in keeping his side in it, some excellent saves.