Lancaster City picked up their first home win of the campaign while maintaining their unbeaten start after overcoming a dangerous Witton Albion side at Giant Axe on Saturday.
A Reece Pearce brace and Aaron Taylor’s first goal of the season, along with another impressive display of goalkeeping by Mike Donlon, were enough to see the Dolly Blues through after it looked like they may be punished for their spurned first half opportunities.
Witton were always going to provide a stern test, coming into the fixture top of the league having put six past Prescot Cables as well as possessing the ever threatening Alex Titchiner.
It was the former Fleetwood man who forced Donlon into his first two saves, one a rasping effort on the angle, before Lee Cropper had the City stopper scrambling across goal to tip a free kick round the corner.
At the other end, Matty Poole found himself through on goal but was denied by the onrushing Danny Roberts and Taylor found himself in a decent position but opted to cross, resulting in a corner.
The last effort before half time was Ryan Winder’s low drive from 25 yards that was gathered by Roberts, but five minutes after the break substitute Pearce had an attempt from a very similar position and the ball found the bottom corner after good build-up play.
Witton’s equaliser on the hour was tremendously worked, as Jon Dawson’s diagonal ball was nodded down by Cropper and tucked away on the half volley by Andrews.
Within moments, Dawson found himself in the box and fizzed just wide of Donlon’s far post.
Shaquille Antoine-Clarke replaced Jacob Gregory at right back halfway through the second period and looked assured on debut, linking well with Billy Akrigg on the right hand side.
Akrigg did well to get out of a tight situation on the touchline and find himself in the box, but support didn’t quite come quickly enough and he was forced to sting the palms of Roberts.
Akrigg was placed wide and Winder slightly deeper than normal for this game but it did not hinder either’s effect and it was the former who assisted with the second goal.
His quick free-kick slid into the near post from 40 yards found Taylor, who did well to keep the ball close and round Roberts before lifting into the roof of the net from a wide angle to open his account.
Chris Baker was inches from pegging City back again after leaving Neil Marshall and Jacob Davis for dead, but he could only curl wide.
Albion’s inevitable decision to commit men forward in search of a point left them vulnerable to the counter attack and Lancaster took full advantage. Akrigg was fed a ball into the corner and he would have been forgiven for running the clock down as it was already the third minute of added time, but he opted instead to whip in a superb cross for Pearce to run onto and head home emphatically without breaking stride.
It looked as if that was simply the icing on the cake for the hosts, however it transpired that Pearce’s second was vital as the referee played five minutes of an originally allocated three, allowing Witton skipper Darren Chadwick to volley home a consolation.
Lancaster City: Donlon 8, Gregory 6 (Antoine-Clarke), Davis 7, Marshall 6, Hudson 7, Akrigg 8, Winder 7, Hunter 7, Whittington 6, Poole 7 (Pearce), Taylor 7.
Star Man: Billy Akrigg - Perpetual and dogged as ever and had a big hand in two goals, even from a wide position.