A SECOND half strike from Joe Bunney saw the Dolly Blues earn all three points on Tuesday night as they battled past Radcliffe Borough.
After Zach Clark had gamely, if futilely, competed for a high cross in the box the ball dropped at Bunney’s feet, his first touch set him up nicely to finish into the bottom corner.
The goal was just what City needed to calm their nerves after a difficult evening of football where they controlled most of the possession and territory but found themselves lacking a telling finish.
It led to two very good chances to add to the score as Clark slalomed through the defence and shot low to the keeper’s left for a save, and Lee Dodgson found himself in the box after a neat passing move and shot at Martin Campbell’s feet.
Bunney had had a difficult game on his own up front against an experienced centre back pairing marshalled by former Morecambe and Stockport defender John Hardiker.
However, he continuously battled and ran to get himself in good positions such as the one in the first half where he nearly converted the best move City produced.
Alex Kenyon linked up with Max Rothwell down the left who slid in Simon Wills in the box, his shot squirmed free to Bunney in the six-yard box and his reaction shot struck the bar.
It was yet another Dolly Blue display low on chances and yet another solid defensive performance which limited a decent Radcliffe side to pot-shots which they struck wide.
In the first half James Mullineux saw an effort deflect just wide of Martin Fearon’s City goal while the second half saw Matthews Chadwick and Carr blaze high; neither half saw Fearon forced into a save.
It was a tense finish for the travelling City fans that saw the home side pile on the pressure and very nearly nick an equaliser as defender Shaun Connor struck the bar from a corner with a headed effort.
There were stand-out performances across the pitch firstly from Clark down the left, who not only ran himself into the ground but provided an incisive attacking threat.
Alex Kenyon was yet again a rock in central-midfield and had an intriguing battle with his opposite number in Radcliffe captain Mark Jones.
Alongside him sits newly converted central midfielder Lee Dodgson, who looks at home there and yet again shone at times, his vision is still there and his skill in no doubt, his execution just let him down on occasion
Defensively Danny Gregson had his hands full in the first 45 against Ben Wharton who pushed him all the way; if only the talented striker had the fitness to push any further he may have created some chances.
The win sees City draw level on points with Farsley FC who occupy the last play-off spot and just a point behind Garforth Town in fourth over whom they have two games in hand.
Radcliffe Borough: Campbell, Kelly, King (Fletcher 81), Hardiker, Connor, Mullineux, Carr, Jones, Wharton (Bell 57), Broadbent, Chadwick
Lancaster City: Fearon 7, Henry 8, Elderton 7, Gregson 7, Marshall 7, Kenyon 8, Clark 8, Wills 7, Bunney 6, Dodgson 8, Rothwell 7
Subs not used: Egerton-Wilson, Meaney, Wood
Referee: Bob Pollock
Starman: Zach Clark - Worked his socks off, rolled with the punches and also managed to look threatening with the ball at his feet.