Lancaster City 1-3 Skelmersdale United

Lee Dodgson goes on the attack for Lancaster City against Skelmersdale.
Lee Dodgson goes on the attack for Lancaster City against Skelmersdale.
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Lancaster City were helpless to stop marauding visitors Skelmersdale United on Saturday as they continued their impressive 100 per cent away record.

The Scouse outfit are unbeaten at home and on their travels in the league this season with just one draw blemishing their home record and they steamrollered the Dolly Blues at Giant Axe.

Disappointingly, despite putting in a hard-working and diligent defensive performance, City gift-wrapped two of the goals - this is a team that does not need your presents - with Gary Burnett allowed to run through to score unchallenged, twice.

With just 10 minutes on the clock Ben Hudson and Simon Wills both leapt for and missed the same ball, falling in a heap allowing Burnett stroll into the box and slide a good finish under Danny McDonald in the City net.

Then, after holding out for the remainder of the half, with just three minutes gone in the second 45 McDonald steamed off his line and out of his box to try and clear, made it just in time but did not connect well enough and allowed Burnett to bundle past him to slot into an empty net.

They were unfortunate mistakes and made even more difficult to swallow as City had bravely hung on at a goal down, riding their luck at times, and showed flashes of what they are capable of when Lee Dodgson and Dave Swarbrick combined up top.

Chances on goal were at a premium, it is not difficult to see why this Skelmersdale side are unbeaten as they press the ball all over the pitch, keep it well and have an excellent outlet in former City striker Mark Jackson.

They dominated the middle of the pitch, a pair of crunching and, indeed, mistimed tackles early doors signalled their intent and City could not get on terms.

The Dolly Blues did see Jake Simpson blaze a shot high and wide after good pressure from a corner and Dodgson worked his way into the box from the left but could not get his shot off.

McDonald’s goal may have been largely untroubled but his area and City’s defensive third saw the majority of the action, Adam Morning and Jackson both saw efforts creep just past his left post and Kenny Strickland blasted an effort over the bar.

Strickland’s late third did not flatter the visitors but it was an unfair blow to a hard-working City performance; things may not be clicking in place but it is not for the want of trying.

Hudson epitomises this at right-back and he headed City back into it on 78 minutes powering through a crowded box to convert a corner from the right.

That said Strickland’s effort was well-worked and comfortably the goal and move of the game as a diagonal ball from the right freed substitute Aaron Turner who held the ball up well delaying play for Strickland to enter the box and find the space to score.

The return of Danny Gregson to the centre of defence was a boost for the Dolly Blues and they are still to see Rob Wilson, Rory Winters, Rich Whiteside and Neil Wainwright get off the treatment table and return the squad to full strength, if that can happen and a settled XI can find their feet then this City side will improve.

City have now made it a five-game winless streak and will try and put that right as they travel to Farsley on Saturday before Christmas fixtures against Curzon Ashton and Bamber Bridge.

Lancaster City: McDonald 5, Hudson 7, Short 6, Gregson 6, Marshall 6, Wills 6 (Kilifin 61), Elderton 6, Simpson 5 (McKenna 61), Swarbrick 6, Dodgson 6, Clark 6. Subs not used: Winters, Wilson, Naylor

Skelmersdale United: Ashton, Field, Corrigan, Hardwick, McIntosh, Strickland, Phenix (Houghton 72), Woolcott, Jackson (Bellew 80), Burnett, Morning (Turner 65). Subs not used: Saleh, Hughes

Referee: Craig Buxton

Attendance: 189

Star man: Ben Hudson - A full-blooded player who works his socks off, a deserved goal and a decent defensive display