LANCASTER CITY returned to winning ways in remarkable fashion recording their second win in five games with a swashbuckling 5-2 win against Garforth Town.
It was the Dolly Blues back to their free-scoring ways without any of their defensive efficiency or composure but at least it was three points in what is already a tight play-off race.
A key element of the win stood between the posts as City’s Martin Fearon kept them in the game with three brilliant late saves while Garforth’s hapless stopper was at fault for three Dolly Blue goals.
He first wobbled in the opening ten minutes when he got nowhere near a free-kick from Alex Kenyon which Andrew Teague looped into the back of the net.
Paul Jarvis had one of his more dynamic games down the left and he linked well with Dave Swarbrick to double the lead after the lightening quick Swarbrick raced onto a through ball, kept his composure in the box and cut back for Jarvis to score via a deflection.
At the other end the swirling wind was making life difficult for a surprisingly shaky looking City back four and Neil Marshall and Kenyon were both at fault for Milton Turner’s excellent strike after the former lost the ball going forward and the latter was caught flat-footed to allow Adam Priestley to pull back for Turner to excellently volley home.
The onus once again shifted City’s way thanks to ‘keeper Ben Higginson. Rob Wilson’s shot from the edge of the box should have been a comfortable low save but Higginson made a hash of it and it bobbled in.
Just seven minutes later and the fifth goal of the half sent both teams in at the break with a chance and once again the visitors scored with style as Chris Howarth showed tricky feet to jink past Teague and feed Ben Small to score.
Things were made far easier for the Dolly Blues thanks to the tardy Small who lingered a little too long over his half-time orange and was shown a second yellow card for entering the pitch without the referee’s permission.
The second-half was scrappy but City edged ahead and again doffed their hat to Higginson on 50 minutes as he raced of his line to be beaten in the air by Adam Farrell whose header nestled into the net.
Farrell looked far more comfortable restored to a centre-forward berth and forged a good partnership with Swarbrick who was City’s standout performer if only in the first-half.
Fearon sprang into action in the last ten minutes, denying Howarth with a diving save as he raced through on goal before tipping a shot from range around the post and back-pedalling to claw away a goal-bound cross, a superb intervention.
Jarvis grabbed a second and made the result look far more convincing than it was in stoppage time after he side-footed home after Higginson finally saved well from a drilled Farrell free-kick.
Despite this, the goalkeeper’s performance, or lack of one, gifted City the three points.
Lancaster City: Fearon 8, Henry 6, Kenyon 5, Teague 5, Marshall 5, Ward 6 (Nightingale 69), Rushton 6 (Johnson 69), Wilson R 6, Swarbrick 7, Farrell 7, Jarvis 7
Subs not used: Kilbane, McKenna, Wilson S
Garforth Town: Higginson, Turner, Villerman, Pacey, Normashild, Price, Priestley, Small, Walker (Brown 75), Howarth, Marron (Collins 89)
Subs not used: Turley, Aujla, Kelsey
Referee: Brian McGill
Starman: Martin Fearon – The contrast between the ‘keepers proved to be game-defining