LANCASTER City travelled to table-toppers Mossley on a very cold Saturday afternoon hoping to show the character that earned them their late draw against Radcliffe the previous Tuesday.
The home side, the surprise package of the league so far, had collected 31 points from 13 games before kick-off and a league-leading 33 goals to their name.
It was the host’s luck in front of goal that earned them the three points, but City more than matched their opponents for the majority of the game.
Both teams had chances in the game but it was a familiar tale of mistakes costing the Dolly Blues dear meaning Neil Wainwright and Michael Stringfellow’s side are now three games without a win.
Mossley went closest in the opening minutes, Chris Rowney’s looping header from the edge of the box rattling the bar in a rare first-half chance.
The opening half was a tense midfield battle with clear-cut chances few and far between.
City’s best opening came when Darren Green met Rodrigo Branco’s long cross but he couldn’t get his headed effort on target.
Danny Gregson had a half chance late in the half, heading Dave Swarbrick’s corner well over as the game went into half-time goalless.
Four minutes into the second half and Mossley went in front.
Kayde Coppin’s snapshot on the edge of the box was deflected off Gregson and somehow trickled under the outstretched glove of Danny McDonald into the bottom corner. Coppin nearly doubled his and Mossley’s tally when his turn and shot hit the outside of the post, with City not quite matching their first-half performance after the restart.
The second goal came with 15 minutes remaining to seal the game for the hosts.
Adam Mather’s free-kick from the right flank bounced at the feet of McDonald who couldn’t hold on to the ball.
Sam Madeley was in the right place at the right time for the easiest finish of his career with a tap in on the line to double Mossley’s lead.
City had chances in the last 10 minutes, with Green’s one-on-one effort drawing a good reaction save from Martin Pearson in added time.
Ryan Elderton had City’s best chance of the game in the dying seconds, but the full back couldn’t find the net with a free header on the penalty spot before the full-time whistle.
City will feel this was a game they probably deserved to take something from but defensive mistakes cost them dear yet again.
Lancaster City: McDonald 5, Hudson 6, Gregson 6, Marshall 6, Elderton 6, Swarbrick 6, Wilson 6, Clark 6, McKenna 7 (Rothwell), Green 6, Branco 5 (Wainwright). Subs not used: Bradley, Naylor, Winder