Lancaster City 3-2 Bamber Bridge

Match-winner Louis Mayers wins a header. Picture: Tony North
Match-winner Louis Mayers wins a header. Picture: Tony North

Lancaster City remained top of the league as they came from behind to beat Bamber Bridge to start 2017 in thrilling fashion.

The Blues came out of the blocks quickly on Monday and found themselves a goal to the good through Jordan Connerton.

Despite Lancaster’s dominance they couldn’t capitalise on their advantage with the visitors equalising courtesy of Jamie Milligan’s penalty before Regan Linney put them in front just before half-time.

City were level 10 minutes from time as Jacob Gregory’s shot wasn’t dealt with by Steven James with the turnaround complete in the final minute of the 90 as Louis Mayers tapped into an empty net.

Keen to follow up their midweek 3-1 win against Burscough, Phil Brown’s side were in front seven minutes in with Connerton converting after some brilliant work down the right from Oliver Crolla.

Both teams had excellent chances in the immediate aftermath as Ben Wharton saw his mis-hit shot cleared off the line for Brig before Connerton should have put the home side further in front but his volley went straight into the arms of James.

Lancaster could then have doubled their lead as Connerton found himself one-on-one with the ‘keeper but the visiting defence recovered well to deny him a clear shot on goal.

Moments later Brig had their way back into the game as Adam Sumner brought down Linney just inside the box with a needless foul, Milligan gladly converting it to equalise against the run of play.

The leveller changed the game and City’s Lancashire rivals were in front before half-time.

Linney’s shot from 25 yards was low and hard and, as Hale’s view was blocked by his defenders, the ball flew past him and into the back of the net.

The second half took time to get going but there was to be a grandstand finish.

With 80 minutes on the clock Gregory’s long-range shot hit James and ricocheted into the goal as Lancaster levelled things up.

There was then only one side going to win the game and as five minutes of added time was announced Mayers poked the ball home from four yards out after some good work from Craig Carney.

With the win City moved three points clear at the top with two games in hand, a trip to Goole next up on Saturday.

Lancaster City: Hale, Birch, Sumner, Wills, Westwood, Clark, Winder (Akrigg), Carney, Connerton (Waters), Mayers, Crolla (Gregory). Subs not used: Davis, Fraser-Gray.

Bamber Bridge: James, Steel, Hunter (Riley), Lawlor, Heaton, N’Guessan, Potts, Linney, Wharton, Milligan (McDonagh), Howarth (Marlow). Subs not used: Bowyer, Doughty.

Referee: Lewis Smith.

Attendance: 292.