A poor second half display cost Lancaster City as they were well beaten by Spennymoor Town at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.
The Dolly Blues battled hard in the first period but things unravelled after the break as a Liam Henderson brace and an Anthony Peacock goal saw the North East side move up to second in the Evo-Stik First Division North.
The opening half was a low-key, scrappy affair with the ever industrious Matty Poole coming the closest to breaking the deadlock for the hosts.
The striker narrowly avoided getting on the end of a quick Garry Hunter free-kick inside the opening 10 minutes before bringing a low save from Dan Lowson with a 20-yard shot later in the half.
But it was a physical clash with referee Simeon Lucas feeling the wrath of both benches on more than one occasion.
The game came to life after the break but unfortunately for Darren Peacock’s side it was the visitors who peppered Mike Hale’s goal as the Dolly Blues stumbled out of the changing rooms.
Hale had to be on hand to tip James Risbourgh’s header onto the crossbar inside the opening minute before blocking Joe Tait’s effort 60 seconds later as the hosts invited pressure with some sloppy play.
Nathan Fisher then sent a shot over the bar with it left to Henderson to open the scoring in stunning fashion on 50 minutes.
Out of nothing the striker produced an unstoppable shot from 20 yards that whistled past Hale and into the top corner.
Spennymoor then threatened to run riot as Shane Henry dragged a shot wide before Henderson came close to a stunning second shortly after the hour mark, taking a ball down from the sky with a fine touch he unleashed a volley from 20 yards that came back off the bar.
City’s sights of goal were fleeting, Poole firing over after neat interplay with substitute Danny Carlton.
Risbourgh was the next to go close for the visitors but could only drag his shot wide when he should have tested Hale.
Garry Hunter then had to be on hand to clear Tait’s effort off the line after the Blues had failed to deal with a corner.
The second goal finally came 12 minutes from time. Peacock arriving at the back post to convert Risbourgh’s low cross from the left.
After Hale had just about kept out a Danny Frost free-kick the third came with time almost up, Henderson outpacing Neil Marshall to finish confidently one-on-one as Peacock’s side slipped to 14th in the table.
Lancaster: Hale, Antoine-Clark, Freeland, Marshall (capt), Clark, Pearce (Bent 69), Hunter, Winder, Whittington, Breslin (Carlton 57), Poole. Subs not used: Davis, Gregory, Hudson.
Booked: Hunter, Whittington
Spennymoor Town: Lowson, Moore, Mason (capt), Kerr, Tait, Risbourgh, Stephenson (Capper 24), Henry, Henderson, Fisher (Frost 61), Peacock. Subs not used: Dodds, Cogdon, Johnson
Referee: Simeon Lucas