Lancaster City 3-1 Skelmersdale United

Lancaster City v Skelmersdale United. GOAL.'Danny Hattersley heads in a corner to score City's first goal in their 3-1 victory over Skelmersdale United.

Lancaster City v Skelmersdale United. GOAL.'Danny Hattersley heads in a corner to score City's first goal in their 3-1 victory over Skelmersdale United.

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THE good form continues for the Dolly Blues as they put in a tip-top display to topple league leaders Skelmersdale United.

City’s third straight victory was hard-fought and deserved as they dominated one of the favourites for the title at Giant Axe.

The second half saw City play arguably their best football of the season as they outplayed their promotion rivals and beat them into submission.

There was two goals from Danny Hattersley, whose best form is mirroring that of his side, and a fitting headed send-off for Jack Duggan before he returned to Fleetwood Town.

Hattersley did all the hard work leading up to his opener- a driving run down the right and a dangerous cross which deflected out for a corner- he timed his run to perfection and powered a header into the top corner from Craig Carney’s delivery.

It was a see-saw of a seemed to expend a lot of effort in bossing the opening twenty minutes before the visitors finally got a sniff and deservedly equalised. A constant barrage of pressure, five corners in a row, and an unfortunate slip up from Dave Swarbrick in the left-hand corner saw the ball fall to Paul Woolcott whose in-swinging back-post cross was missed by all but centre-back Tony Rendall.

The Dolly Blues did well to hang on and see out the half in control Hattersley, Carney and Duggan were excellent. A solid spine for the team and they did not put a foot wrong throughout.

Duggan picked up a nice reward for his efforts in a headed goal from another Carney corner.

Loan

The young centre-back returns to his parent club after a 96 day loan at Giant Axe and he will no doubt be missed, fortunately for Tony Hesketh Daniel Gregson has performed brilliantly in place of the injured Neil Marshall who should return on Tuesday night.

Carney had begun to play in a more advanced role in the build up to the goal and the midfielder’s ability to pick a pass, recycle the ball and create chances has been vital for City this season.

Alongside him Alex Kenyon continues to win headers and cover his back-four as well as having a delightful pass in his locker to boot, as he showcased in creating the third.

A diagonal ball from deep split the Skelmersdale defence and set Zach Clark free down the right, his cross was behind Swarbrick and should have been cleared by Rob McIntosh, he made a right hash of it, dropped the ball at Hattersley’s feet and he needed no encouragement to smash in his second.

Swarbrick could have made it four as he raced into the box after substitute Lee Dodgson’s through ball but he agonisingly volleyed into the post.

Max Rothwell was again tremendous for City, his energy in the last fifteen minutes demoralised the visitors as the Dolly Blues battered them into submission, and they looked a broken team as the final whistle blew.

City now face a crucial test on Saturday as they travel to Garforth Town, their away form has been suspect and their form in Yorkshire has been dire.

They couldn’t be in a better position to address that than in their current form.

Lancaster City: Fearon 6, Henry 7, Elderton 7, Duggan 8, Gregson 7, Kenyon 7, Clark 7 (Dodgson 76) Carney 8 (Wills 84) Swarbrick 7, Hattersley 8, Rothwell 7

Subs not used: Meaney, Egerton-Wilson, Marshall

Skelmersdale United: Ashton, Field, Burke, McIntosh, Rendall, Parle, Woolcott, Evans, Bowen (Tuck 63), Almond, Strickland

Subs not used: Chadwick, Houghton, Simpson

Referee: Iain Siddell

Attendance: 289

Starman: Jack Duggan - Bossed some good strikers around, a faultless display