TOM KILIFIN marked his full Lancaster City debut in some style on Saturday as he helped the Dolly Blues avoid a potential banana skin in rock-bottom side Cammell Laird.
The former City U18 star scored the only goal of the game in the 31st minute as his new side professionally saw off a team that came to defend.
Indeed once again the visitors to Giant Axe gave City ’keeper Martin Fearon little to no work on a glorious sunny afternoon.
City had to remain patient as they had the majority of the possession without being clinical enough in the final third; play-off places better not come down to goal difference.
Before his well-taken goal on the half hour mark Kilifin was not only the focus of many City attacks and hopeful throughballs but he showed a fleet turn of foot, great control and held the ball up well.
After a driving, if slightly lucky exchange between Alex Meaney and Lee Dodgson, the ball fell to Kilifin in the box but he snatched at the strike and it hit the post.
It was enough of a warning shot though and after Ryan Elderton, practically playing as a left-winger such was the depth of the visiting defending, beat Kyle Jones on the line he pulled back to the man on loan from Kendal in the six yard box.
The ball bounced up on him but he reacted well and whipped an acrobatic effort into the roof of the net.
Come the end of the season when his current terms at Giant Axe will end, City will endeavour to keep the Lancaster lad unless bigger fish come a-circling.
On to Dodgson, the talented winger has been given a new lease of life in a central midfield berth. Able to slow his game down, his intelligent use of the ball is a great foil to Alex Kenyon’s combative and driving style – very reminiscent of his early season partnership with Craig Carney.
There was little to no surprise or threat from the visitors, they quite simply parked the bus and lumped the ball forward as quickly as possible to their lofty striker Aaron Bowen – he found himself up against the in-form Danny Gregson and Neil Marshall who repelled him with ease.
Once again Kilifin was to feature and star as he rose well to meet an Elderton corner and powered a header that looked a certain goal. Up flew ’keeper Molloy to tip it over the bar in spectacular fashion.
The win sees the Dolly Blues nip back into the playoff places by just a point, the teams above them – Witton Albion in particular – continue to win so a good run of form is vital.
Lancaster City: Fearon 6, Henry 8, Elderton 7, Gregson 7, Marshall 7, Kenyon 7 (Clark 73), Wills 7, Dodgson 8, Kilifin 8 (Wood 82), Meaney 7 (Bunney 73), Rothwell 7
Subs not used: Egerton-Wilson, Hall
Cammell Laird: Molloy, Jones, Dysart, Callaghan (Mason 51), Ferrigan, O’Brien, Millington, Bowen, Stewart, Stevenson (Evason 45), Riley (O’Keefe 88)
Sub not used: Sullivan
Referee: Richard Ackers
Starman: Tom Kilifin. Could well have marked his debut with a hat-trick, good all round play to boot.