Lancaster City took a step backwards in their pursuit of a play-off spot as they were defeated 2-1 at the hands of Clitheroe on Tuesday night.
A shaky start from the Dolly Blues saw them concede two goals early on with Scott Bakkor rifling in from 18 yards after the ball wasn’t cleared sufficiently before Danny Brady scored easily from a corner.
Against the run of play City got themselves back into the game through Zach Clark who tapped in from five yards to give the 140 or so home fans some hope.
But a scrappy second half with neither team asserting any sort of dominance ensured that Clitheroe held on for three points.
Phil Brown’s side, who had looked so exciting, energetic and dangerous on Saturday against Ossett Town, appeared tired from the word go and couldn’t get a foothold in the game.
Clitheroe looked organised and efficient and broke the deadlock on 20 minutes.
The ball was only cleared as far as the edge of the box where Bakkor was waiting to pounce. His shot was hit hard and low and was only seen late by Mike Hale meaning it nestled into the bottom right-hand corner.
The hosts were visibly shaken and Clitheroe doubled their lead largely because of another defensive error.
A decent corner wasn’t dealt with and the ball eventually rolled into Brady’s path at the back post allowing him to smash the ball into the roof of the net.
It looked a long way back for Lancaster but Clitheroe took their foot off the gas and City soon found a way back into the game.
A probing run down the right flank by Billy Akrigg caught Clitheroe off guard with the midfielder playing the ball across to Clark who had the easy task of converting from five yards.
The second half started as the first half had finished with Lancaster pushing and Clitheroe doing just enough to keep them at bay.
Within five minutes City almost equalised as Ryan Winder’s free-kick from just outside the box was fizzed across goal and narrowly missed the head of Joe Whittington.
Lancaster then felt they should have had a penalty when Danny Carlton appeared to be barged over in the box as openings kept coming.
The next opportunity saw Carlton beat the offside trap but the experienced front man was quickly closed down and saw his shot saved easily by Ben Woodhead
With 10 minutes left on the clock Whittington’s shot from 20 yards was deflected into the path of Carlton whose shot could only hit a defender as a frustrating evening ended in defeat.
Lancaster City: Hale, Gregory, Clark, Churchman (Morris), Marshall, Street, Winder, Akrigg, Taylor (Carlton), Clark, Whittington. Subs not used: Dickson, Donlon.
Clitheroe: Woddhead, Benjamin, Walker, Bonamino, Brady, Garner (Mayers), Harries (Barski), Lynch, Gonzales, Hendry (Dent), Bakkor. Subs not used: Heywood, Hessian.
Referee: Leigh Dughty.