Lancaster City got the better of an action-packed second half to knock 10-man Witton Albion out of the Doodson Sport Cup on Tuesday night.
Trailing 1-0 to Ryan Read’s early goal, Ryan Winder’s fine low strike levelled things up for the Dolly Blues three minutes after the break.
Parity lasted just two minutes however with Jamie Henders scoring from the penalty spot after Gavin Clark had been penalised for a push.
Darren Peacock’s side then levelled things up for a second time on 76 minutes with a penalty of their own, Winder sending Ryan Swift the wrong way after the ‘keeper had been booked for bringing down Aaron Taylor.
The Witton number one could have received a straight red but wasn’t on the field for much longer as he picked up a second yellow card shortly after for another foul on Taylor, this time outside the area.
With visiting skipper Anthony Gardner forced to go in goal City took advantage to reach the third round of the league cup.
First Billy Akrigg slid in to convert Reece Pearce’s cross to put the hosts in front for the first time on 82 minutes before Taylor made sure of the points with time almost up, finishing well after Winder’s cross.
There was little sign of what was to come as the Evo-Stik Premier Division side, managed by former City favourite Tony Sullivan, made a fast start.
Mike Hale had to be alert to save from Read and Jamie Rainford in the opening five minutes before Akrigg brought a save from Swift with a shot from 15 yards.
But it was the visitors who were having the better of things and they deservedly went in front on 13 minutes when Read cut in on the left corner of the area and fired a low shot across Hale and into the net.
Witton should have doubled their lead two minutes later but Rainford sliced horribly wide one-on-one after Luke Ainscough had pounced on Clark’s loose pass.
Rainford did better with a further chance on 20 minutes but Hale produced a fine save low to his right to help the ball round the post.
After a frantic opening the game settled into what was a scrappy encounter on a difficult surface.
Winder’s arrowed strike from 25 yards shortly after the interval brought the game back to life.
But City’s joy was shortlived as Clark was harshly adjudged to have pushed Rainford in the area as he jumped for a high cross.
Henders made no mistake from 12 yards, hammering the ball straight down the middle as the Dolly Blues went behind for a second time.
There were then chances at either end, Tom Woods failing to profit on a fine Garry Hunter through ball before Hale was equal to Daniel O’Brien’s shot from distance.
Taylor then saw a looping header saved by Swift before the two locked horns again, this time resulting in the ‘keeper bringing down the City front man.
Winder, having provided the pass for Taylor’s chance, made no mistake from the spot as City built momentum.
The game-changing moment came 10 minutes from time with Swift slow to come off his line before being beaten to the ball by Taylor just outside the area, his swinging leg felling the former Morecambe striker.
Referee David Fisher showed the Witton man a second yellow card and City didn’t hesitate in profiting from their man advantage.
Having made three subs shortly before the red card, Witton captain Gardner had to put on the gloves and he had no answer to Lancaster’s two goals in the final 10 minutes.
Substitute Pearce drove down the City right eight minutes from time with Akrigg arriving at speed to divert the cross home.
Taylor made sure of City’s progression with a minute to go, showing neat control from Winder’s left wing pull back before drilling a low shot into the bottom-right corner of the net.