Warrington Town 2-1 Lancaster City

Aaron Taylor was on target for Lancaster City at Warrington.
Aaron Taylor was on target for Lancaster City at Warrington.

Lancaster City were desperately unlucky not to leave Cantilever Park with at least a point after a second-half penalty ended the Dolly Blues’ 100 per cent start to 2015.

It could have been such a different story as Darren Peacock’s side hit the woodwork three times and had a strike from Matty Poole controversially ruled out for offside.

City started the game the better side and were denied the opener after just 10 minutes.

Sam Bailey’s strike was only parried by Wire ‘keeper Karl Wills and Poole reacted fasted to tap the ball into an empty net only for the goal was chalked out by the linesman’s flag, despite Poole appearing to be onside when the shot was struck.

The Dolly Blues then hit the woodwork twice in the space of a few seconds after 25 minutes.

Ryan Winder’s well-hit dipping strike from distance crashed off the bar before Reece Pearce headed the follow-up effort off the post.

Mike Hale had to react well to deny Nathan Burke after a neat passing play from the hosts as the game somehow remained goalless at the break.

Three minutes after the restart the deadlock was broken as the hosts took the lead.

Chris Gaghan collected a cross on the right side of the City area and was given time and space to pick out the bottom-left corner with a fine low shot.

A quarter of an hour later Warrington doubled their lead after Winder’s rash challenge brought down Scott Metcalfe inside the box for a penalty. Metcalfe took the kick and sent Mike Hale the wrong way.

With 20 minutes remaining City were handed a lifeline as ‘keeper Wills had to handle the ball outside the area to stop Tom Kilifin racing through to an open net and the stopper was rightly dismissed by referee Paul Hodgkinson.

With no substitute keeper, Warrington boss Shaun Reid threw striker Dean Astbury in goal for the remainder of the match.

Pearce again hit the post with a header as City dominated the ball without finding a way to really test Astbury until Aaron Taylor nodded in Bailey’s cross from close range with eight minutes remaining.

After clawing a goal back, City disappointingly failed to register any further efforts on goal as they left Cheshire empty handed and suffered their first defeat of the new year.

Lancaster City: Hale, Bailey, Davis, Marshall, Clark, Pearce, Hunter, Akrigg, Dodgson (Winder 15), Poole, Kilifin

Star Man: Garry Hunter