A LATE Ryan Elderton penalty gave Lancaster City an impressive 3-2 victory over Workington in their penultimate preseason friendly at the Giant Axe.
Goals from Elderton, Tom Kilifin and the impressive new signing Neil Wainwright was enough for Mick Hoyle’s men to see off a Workington side plying their trade two leagues higher than City.
The Dolly Blues, without Jordan Connerton who it was announced had left Giant Axe to join Saturday’s opponents, began the game the brighter in a cagey opening first quarter hour.
Winger Zach Clark had two powerful shots well blocked by Workington defenders in the opening ten minutes after twice being released by Rob Wilson.
However despite City’s strong start, a lapse in concentration cost them 15 minutes in.
No one picked up Workington’s Jake Simpson from a Mark Boyd corner and the midfielder had the simple task of heading it past the helpless Stefan Holden from six yards out.
City responded well to the goal and were level just seven minutes.
Wainwright collected the ball from a short corner and drove at the Workington defence, the former Morecambe winger skilfully took ex-Shrimps defender Niall Cowperthwaite before firing a low drive across goal from a tight angle, which visiting ‘keeper Aaron Taylor could only palm into the net.
The Dolly Blues continued to dominate after the goal and had chances to go ahead before the break.
Wilson had a shot from the edge of the area well saved on the half hour mark and ten minutes later a wonderful jinking run from Wainwright resulted in another fine save from Taylor.
Kilifin had a chance on the stroke of half time but he blazed over from ten yards and all Workington could muster was a Jonny Wright glancing header which went well wide.
The visitors came out and looked better in the second half but again the majority of chances were going the way of the home side.
A rasping Wilson drive from the edge of the area was well-saved by Taylor after another weaving run and cross from the inspired Wainwright.
Kilifin then shot wide from just inside the area on the hour mark before the deserved second goal came for the Dolly Blues 20 minutes from time. Substitute Gavin Clark made an excellent 30 yard run down the left before releasing Kilifin on goal. The young striker struck the ball sweetly from an acute angle into the bottom right hand corner to give him his fourth goal in his last four pre-season outings.
Workington did have chances in the second half to draw level. Kyle May headed wide from point blank range before Holden did well to push a Wayne Curtis header over the bar.
Hoyle’s men could not endure the Conference North side’s pressure and the equaliser came just five minutes from time.
Substitute Phil Storey got in behind City right back Ryan Winder and fired in a low cross for Curtis who calmly slotted it past Holden from ten yards.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Dolly Blues after such an excellent display but they didn’t dwell on the goal and pushed men forward in search of a late winner, and it came.
Zach Clark received the ball on the right and drove into the Workington box and A neat bit of skill fooled May who brought him down and referee David McNamara had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Elderton coolly side footed the penalty to Taylor’s right sending the keeper the wrong way and earning Lancaster a thoroughly deserved and impressive victory.
Lancaster City: Holden 7, Parkinson (Winder 71, 6) 6, Elderton 7, Stringfellow (G Clark 58, 7) 6, Marshall (Hudson 86, 6) 8, Wilson (Bowen 71, 6) 7, Wainwright 8, Carney (Culshaw 58, 6) 5, Wills (Rothwell 58, 6) 6, Z Clark 8, Kilifin (McKenna 71, 6) 6