Lancaster City’s play-off hopes are well and truly alive after returning to winning ways in an encouraging performance at Burscough’s Victoria Park on Saturday.
The Dolly Blues showed little signs of rust following the weather induced break in fixtures and will be disappointed that they only had one goal to show for their efforts.
Tom Kilifin partnered Jordan Connerton up front in the absence of Mark Jackson, and the Lancaster-born duo looked dangerous throughout the game.
Despite the atrocious condition of the playing surface City played some good attacking football and after a bright start were rewarded with the opening goal on six minutes.
Garry Hunter’s long-range ball over the defence took an unfavourable bounce in front of ‘keeper Tim Horn and the on-rushing Kilifin nicked the ball round the keeper to slot into an empty net. The state of the pitch created a slow tempo and physical affair, especially in the first half of the game.
Mike Hale was relatively untroubled in the opening 45 but still had to be sharp to tip Joe Camozzi’s cross-come-shot over the bar in the hosts’ best chance of the half.
Connerton had a great chance to extend City’s lead on the stroke of half-time. Finding some space inside the box the striker turned past his man but was closed down quickly by Horn to save smartly with his feet.
After the interval Lancaster started the second half as they did the first.
Kilifin worked his way in behind the Linnets’ defence to drive a fierce shot that was tipped over the bar by Horn. The second half was far more open than the first with both sides having chances, but with the visitors enjoying the majority.
The goalscorer had a golden chance to double his tally but his one-on-one effort was expertly tipped over the bar by Horn, whilst Steel’s turn and volley from a corner was struck straight at the Linnets’ stopper.
Burscough’s best chance came from a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box with striker Mark Beesley curling the ball agonisingly wide of Hale’s left-hand post.
City created more half chances as the game wore on, most notably when Aaron Taylor played in Ryan Winder in the dying minutes. The winger raced clean through on goal but couldn’t keep control of the bobbling ball and Horn was able to close the City man down and smoother the ball.
After a recent rocky patch of form, Darren Peacock’s side will have been pleased with their hard earned win as they head to Darlington on Wednesday.