LANCASTER CITY’s indifferent start to 2011 continued on Saturday after they were beaten at play-off rivals Warrington Town.
A late first-half equalising header from the Wire’s Antony Hickey to cancel out Andrew Teague’s opener handed the home side the impetus that they never let go, an 83rd minute penalty from Louis Corrigan enough to hand them all three points.
City have not found the rich vein of form that saw them record five straight league wins and this defeat means they slip to eighth in a league that will see many changes as games in hand are won or lost.
Despite taking the lead on ten minutes when captain Teague side-footed home an Adam Farrell corner the Dolly Blues never really settled and did not maintain much in the way of pressure or possession.
Their best chance of the half came after Farrell played in Alex Johnson down the right with a superbly timed ball, the young striker had the space to cut inside his defender further into the box but instead he ploughed on and hit his shot wide.
Teague also drilled a left-footed shot just over the bar as he pressed on from his altered position of anchoring the midfield, the new system looks exciting as it frees up Max Rothwell or Adam Farrell to join in attacks but it may take time to iron out some of the kinks.
The home side had few chances of note however Rob Henry had to react sharply at the back post to head away a cross that was poised to land on striker Gavin Salmon’s forehead.
The Dolly Blue defence could not deal with the cross that landed on Hickey’s head deep in first-half injury time as the short midfielder rose unchecked to head a Mike Duffy cross into the top- corner.
Warrington had the momentum throughout the second-half and they kept up their pressure without every troubling Martin Fearon in the City net.
Both sides made early attacking changes, City bringing on the pace of Dave Swarbrick and Billy McKenna while Warrington opted for height with Tony Evans.
Evans came close for the home side as a looping cross had Fearon beaten and backpedalling to harmlessly ping off the bar and safe.
Swarbrick put in the hard-yards for City in his scampering style but could not find the spark to beat a resolute Wire defence, he was limited to a shot from the edge of the box that skipped just wide while Teague hit a similar effort straight at the ‘keeper.
There were no arguments when it came to the decisive penalty, a cross from the right striking the lower arm of Farrell Kilbane.
Corrigan firmly tucked away the spot-kick to deservedly seal the three points for his side.
WARRINGTON TOWN: Pritchard, Duffy, Corrigan, Hardwick, Tomlinson, Wade (Hardwick 86), Hickey, Finlay, Collins (Evans 49), Salmon, Gaghan
Subs not used: Millington, Juke, Niese
LANCASTER CITY: Fearon 6, Henry 6, Kenyon 6, Teague 6, Marshall 7, Rothwell 6 (Swarbrick 51), Hattersley 6 (Ward 72), Farrell 7, Kilbane 5, Johnson 5 (McKenna 51), Jarvis 6
Subs not used: Wilson, Nightingale
STARMAN: Neil Marshall – Solid as ever, tried to drag the team along.