A much-improved Lancaster City survived a late onslaught as they beat Ossett Town 3-2 at Giant Axe on Saturday in Phil Brown’s first home game in charge.
The Dolly Blues played a high tempo, high energy game of football and went in at half-time two goals to the good after Aaron Taylor opened the scoring, finding himself one-on-one with the keeper and slotting home.
Then on the stroke of half-time Ryan Winder doubled City’s lead from eight yards.
Just four minutes into the second half, Winder got his second and Lancaster’s third to effectively seal the win but City switched off with 15 minutes to go and conceded two goals in quick succession.
Brown’s men managed to hold on though for a welcome three points.
The returning favourite’s first game home game in charge started well and they deservedly took the lead on 10 minutes as Winder’s through ball tore apart the Ossett Town defence allowing Taylor to smartly tuck the ball under Tom Morgan.
Ossett tried to take the game to Lancaster from this point onwards and were unlucky not to equalise as Jimmy Eyles found himself through on goal but could only shoot over the crossbar.
Lancaster were too strong for Ossett in every department and should have doubled their lead midway through the half but Neil Marshall’s free header went wide of the mark.
However, 18th-placed Ossett Town always looked dangerous on the counter attack and Nathan Curtis should have done better with his shot after picking the ball up midway inside the City half and shimmying past three defenders but his effort was weak and easily saved by Mike Hale
The Dolly Blues managed to stave off any pressure from the opposition and got a well-worked second goal as half-time approached.
Joe Whittington chipped a free-kick over the Ossett defence to Winder who expertly beat the offside trap, took a touch and slid the ball home.
With the second half only minutes old Lancaster had a third goal through man of the match Winder.
After a scramble in the box, Taylor picked up the ball and played Winder through, who then placed his shot low and hard to Morgan’s left.
The hosts continued to push for more goals and had the ball in the back of the net for a fourth time as Whittington headed in from six yards but he was adjudged to be offside.
This failure to park the bus almost proved to be Lancaster’s downfall as after a series of shots were saved well by Hale a seemingly innocuous challenge by Gavin Clark in the box resulted in a penalty.
Hale saved down low from Curtis but the City defenders were too slow in reacting and Curtis scored the rebound.
Then Lancaster made the last five minutes a nail biting affair as former Stockport County midfielder Chris Churchman, on debut, saw his pass back intercepted by Curtis who took on the keeper and scored from the tightest of angles to make it 3-2.
It mattered not however with the final scoreline flattering the visitors.
The Dolly Blues next host Clitheroe on Tuesday night in a 7.45pm kick-off at Giant Axe.
Lancaster City: Hale, Gregory, Clark, Churchman, Marshall (capt), Freeland (Street), Winder, Akrigg, Taylor (Carlton), Clark, Whittington (Morris). Subs not used: Donlon.
Ossett Town: Morgan (Farnhill), Lucas, Quinlan (Pashley), Jeff (capt), Fishley, Merris, Lyn (Hepworth), Ackeroyd, Curtis, Ovington, Eyles. Subs not used: Smith, Fogarty.
Referee: Christopher Porter.