Lancaster City put in a professional performance to defeat a spirited bottom of the table Ossett Albion at Giant Axe on Saturday.
A second-half wonder strike from Mark Jackson was enough to seal the three points for the Dolly Blues, who keep up the pressure on the teams above them in the race for a play-off spot.
The home team got off to a slow start in muddy conditions and struggled to stamp their authority on the game during a scrappy first half.
It was the Dolly Blues’ first game in three weeks and it showed in the opening exchanges.
But the only chance of note in the first half fell to Lancaster as the home side whipped a free-kick into the box before the ball took a deflection off an Albion foot only to fly agonisingly close to the goal and out for a corner.
The second half started much brighter and the first chance fell to Albion as Ryan Harrison’s free-kick beat a diving Mike Hale but narrowly missed the far corner of the net.
Lancaster broke away down the other end and as Albion failed to clear it fell to Jackson whose initial shot was blocked with the ball rebounding to his feet. The striker quickly turned onto his left foot and instead of passing to open players decided to go it alone and curled the ball into the top left corner past a helpless Adam Rhodes in the Albion goal.
Jackson’s stunning goal was the lift that Lancaster needed.
Chances came thick and fast for the Dolly Blues as Ryan Winder’s mazy run got him into the box only to see his shot blocked.
Jordan Connerton, whose creative play was at the centre of Lancaster’s attacking moves, looked certain to get on the scoresheet as he rounded the Albion keeper before running the ball too wide and squandering the chance.
The last 20 minutes saw a spate of corners and free-kicks for the home side but Albion clung on to keep themselves in the game.
They had a chance to level the game and grab a point in the dying minutes as substitute Kelvin Mathe brought the ball down in the Lancaster area but last ditch defending allowed the hosts to clear to safety.
The full-time whistle came shortly after to bring an end to a game that came alive in the second half with a much-improved performance from City.
Lancaster City: Hale 7, Henry 6, Elderton 6, Steel 6, Clark 6, Hunter 7, Winder 8, Akrigg 7, Connerton 9, Jackson 9, Kilifin 7. Subs not used: Wearing, Hudson, Walker, Donnelly, Millar.
Star man: Mark Jackson - A superb left-footed shot from the striker was the difference between the two teams.