Lancaster City recorded a fifth straight win in league and cup with a hard-earned victory at relegation battlers Ossett Albion on Saturday.
A scrappy goal midway through the second half that was eventually awarded to Jordan Connerton settled a game low on chances.
Although the ball appeared to go in via the arm of Albion defender Declan Dawson, Connerton was deemed to have the last meaningful touch in an otherwise lacklustre encounter.
The match did see the welcome return of midfielder Craig Carney, back for his third spell at Giant Axe, coming off the bench on the hour mark.
On the infamous sloping pitch, uneven long grass slowed the game down to snail’s’ pace and chances were few and far between.
The only two meaningful efforts in the first half fell to the visitors.
In the opening minutes Connerton played Gregory in at goal on the right side of the area, but the winger’s shot was well saved by Ossett keeper Brett Souter.
Souter made another smart save to stop a fierce volley from Adam Sumner, whilst Mike Hale was reduced to catching practice at the other end.
The second half began in the same vain but City should have been one-up after Louis Mayers’ headed effort crashed off the crossbar. The rebound fell to Connerton who elected to hit it on the volley but blazed his shot narrowly over the bar.
Sumner then tried his luck again with a long range effort but Souter matched it with another fine save to keep Lancaster at bay.
The winning goal was nothing to write home about, but the persistence of Lancaster’s performance was evident in its making.
Gregory’s lobbed ball over the top of the defence was chased down by Connerton and several defenders and in the panic and miscommunication that followed the ball looped over Souter from the boot of the City striker via the arm of defender Dawson.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was the definition of grinding out a win when not at your best as the Dolly Blues remained resolute at the back to continue their ascent up the league table, Phil Brown’s men now sitting seventh in the Evo-Stik First Division North.
They next travel to Trafford on Tuesday night.