Lancaster City 2-3 Kendal Town

Gavin Clark scored a fine second for Lancaster City against Kendal.
Gavin Clark scored a fine second for Lancaster City against Kendal.

The Dolly Blues somehow came out on the wrong end of a five-goal Boxing Day thriller with Kendal Town at Giant Axe.

Despite dominating the second half it was ex-City players Jordan Connerton and Ricky Mercer who came back to haunt their former club as Lancaster were forced to pay for another poor first-half showing.

It could have been so different had City taken their early chances.

Aaron Taylor directed a free header from eight yards over the bar whilst Matty Poole had his first goal for the club ruled out for a foul by referee Bob Roberts much to City’s dismay.

Apart from those chances though City created little in what turned out to be a largely joyless first half.

Kendal, however, created the two chances they needed to take a two-goal lead.

On the half hour mark Connerton, unmarked at the backpost, expertly volleyed in Jonathan MacDonald’s searching cross to open the scoring.

The former Lancaster star’s celebrations were respectfully subdued but the visitors continued to press and got a second on the stroke of half-time.

Mercer leapt highest to meet a corner kick and crash a header off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net.

Darren Peacock’s half-time team talk worked wonders as just six minutes into the second half Lancaster pulled one back.

Simon Wearing’s work rate and neat footwork on the right flank allowed him to drill in a low cross that was hammered home from close range by Josh Draycott.

The hosts were now piling on the pressure as Poole’s low shot drew a save from ‘keeper Liam Bleeker but the visitors’ stopper could do nothing about City’s equaliser.

A good thirty-plus yards from goal Gavin Clark hit a spectacular dipping shot out of nowhere that flew over Bleeker and into the far corner of the net.

The equaliser sparked huge celebrations from the players and the 345-strong festive crowd as it began to seem like it would finally be City’s day.

Unfortunately for Lancaster it was not to be as Kendal scored the winner with 14 minutes to play.

Jacob Davis brought down Connerton in the area for a stonewall penalty which the former Crewe striker elected to take and he sent Mike Hale the wrong way to bring the score to 3-2.

Somehow the Dolly Blues did not find an equaliser. Sam Bailey’s magnificent 30-yard free kick was tipped onto the post by Bleeker whilst only Draycott knows how he fired Lee Dodgson’s cross wide from two yards in the dying minutes.

Whilst the result did little to alleviate City’s continued fall down the standings, the second half performance will breed further confidence that their improved form will start to earn them points sooner rather than later.

Lancaster City: Hale 7, Bailey 8, Davis 6, Hudson 6, Marshall 7, Clark 8 (Dodgson 81), Akrigg 7, Hunter 6 (Pearce 74), Draycott 7, Taylor 5 (Wearing 40), Poole 6. Subs not used: Donlon, Woods.

Star man: Gavin Clark - Latest goal of the season candidate.

City’s game at home to Northwich Victoria on Sunday was called off due to a frozen Giant Axe pitch.

The Dolly Blues next travel to Clitheroe on New Year’s Day before hosting Bamber Bridge at Giant Axe on Saturday, January 3.