Lancaster City slipped to their fifth consecutive league defeat on Saturday with a narrow loss to promotion-hopefuls Scarborough Athletic.
In the second half the Dolly Blues put in one of their best displays of recent weeks but Darren Peacock’s side were undone by Ryan Williams’ dramatic late winner two minutes from time.
Another slow start from the hosts didn’t help matters as The Seadogs took the lead after 90 seconds.
City came out second best in a midfield scrap over possession with the ball eventually falling to Alex Peterson, the visiting forward hitting a sweet strike with the outside of his right foot into the top left corner.
Both teams had chances to get on the scoresheet in the first half, with Lancaster guilty of missing the most glaring of the bunch.
Ryan Elderton had the whole goal to aim at inside the box after the ball kindly fell to his feet, but the returning veteran sliced his shot well over the bar.
There were also returns for Tom Kilifin who came close to a move to Kendal and Matty Poole who made his debut up front with Aaron Taylor after signing from Garstang.
It was Taylor who had the next chance for the hosts, but after working his way into a good position failed to hit a clean strike and the effort was mopped up by ‘keeper Joe Cracknell.
The visitors however had the lion’s share of chances in the first half.
Jimmy Beadle had a goal disallowed by referee Kevin Mattocks for a foul on Mike Hale, whilst James Bennett’s lobbed effort from distance hit the woodwork as the visitors piled on the pressure.
City produced an improved performance and an admirable comeback in the second period however.
Enjoying the majority of possession without creating many chances, it took a wonder strike from Sam Bailey to level the score.
Thirty yards from goal the former Bolton Wanderers midfielder took aim and hit a hard curling effort over the wall and into the top left corner for a spectacular equaliser and goal of the season candidate.
Bailey and Lee Dodgson each saw goal-bound shots blocked by some last-ditch defending from The Seadogs with the visitors looking dangerous on the counter attack as City pressed high for a winner.
Sadly for the Dolly Blues, after a couple of fine saves from Hale the City stopper was eventually beaten two minutes from time.
A long goal kick eluded the Lancaster back-line and Ryan Blott squared a ball across the box for Williams to neatly tuck away to win the game.
Despite the result, an immensely improved display and players returning from absence will spur the Dolly Blues into what is surely a must-win game at rock-bottom Padiham this Saturday.
Lancaster City: Hale 8, Hudson 6, Davis 6, Marshall 7, Clark 6, Pearce 7 (Bailey 75), Akrigg 7, Elderton 6 (Dodgson 65), Taylor 6, Poole 6, Kilifin 6. Subs not used: Donlon, Woods, Henry.
Star Man: Mike Hale - Another great display from the City number one.