Lancaster City 4-1 Burscough
Lancaster City put in a fine team performance to comfortably dispatch Burscough at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.
Aaron Taylor laid on two first-half goals for Sam Bailey and City’s third for Ryan Winder before completing the scoring himself after Mark Beesley had pulled a goal back from the penalty spot.
Former Bolton Wanderers youngster Bailey scored his first goal for the club to give Darren Peacock’s side the lead 11 minutes in.
Burscough’s Wade Joyce could only intercept a pass into the path of Taylor who squared for Bailey to hammer home from 12 yards.
It gave City an instant lift after a confident start with Bailey firing over from 25 yards before doubling the Blues’ lead on 17 minutes.
Deployed wide on the right Bailey cut in and his low, left-footed shot from 20 yards arrowed into the bottom right-hand corner and beyond visiting stopper Calvin Hope.
Taylor then finished well 60 seconds later after a fine Gavin Clark pass only to see his goal chalked off for offside.
Despite City’s early dominance, chances were at a premium for the rest of the half, Bailey again firing over from distance before Taylor’s effort was comfortably held by Hope.
If anything the hosts took their foot off the gas but the closest The Linnets came in the first half was Jordan Williams’ shot being deflected narrowly wide shortly before the interval.
The start of the second half was scrappy and short on quality, Billy Akrigg driving a shot narrowly over from 20 yards in the first move of note after 53 minutes.
Slick play may have been in short supply but that all changed five minutes later as City made it three with the move of the match.
Garry Hunter drove in from the right and fed Taylor with his back to goal, the big front man laying the ball off to Winder who drilled a low shot from 15 yards into the bottom left-hand corner.
Just as Peacock’s Blues looked to be cruising to victory however Burscough were handed a lifeline on 62 minutes.
As a cross came in from the right Clark was penalised for handball with Beesley making no mistake from 12 yards as he sent Mike Hale the wrong way.
Despite being in complete control it was a goal that set a few nerves jangling, Eddie Toner bending a free-kick into the side netting before Will Jones dragged a shot wide when he should have done better for the visitors.
The Linnets’ best chance came nine minutes from time but Hale rushed out well to deny Williams when he found himself in on the right side of the area.
That was as good as things got for Burscough however.
Substitute Lee Dodgson brought a sharp save from Hope at his near post on 83 minutes before Taylor made sure of the points shortly after.
Winder drove at the heart of the Burscough defence on the counter attack before feeding the Morecambe front man who beat a couple of players before firing a left-footed shot in off the underside of the crossbar.
It was a goal that settled the game as a contest but there was still time for chances at either end, Liam Caddick finding the side netting for Burscough after ghosting into the area before Dodgson was denied by Hope when in one-on-one.
They mattered not however as the Dolly Blues returned to winning ways with an encouraging display.
Lancaster City: Hale, Hudson, Clark, Davis, Marshall (capt), Hunter, Winder, Akrigg, Bailey (Dodgson 78), Taylor, Kilifin. Subs not used: Donlon, Elderton, Wearing, Woods.
Burscough: Hope, Duff (Dunleavy 74), Quirk, Ryan, Schofield, Joyce, Caddick, Toner, Jones (Smith 74), Beesley (Monaghan 64), Williams. Subs not used: Cookson, Devine.
Referee: Paul Hodkinson
Star Man: Aaron Taylor