Lancaster City said goodbye to their play-off hopes after a frustrating 2-0 loss at Mossley on Saturday.
The Dolly Blues now sit ninth in the table, eight points behind Burscough with only four matches to play and the dream appears to be over.
Pitifully for the Lancastrians, four unfortunate minutes before half-time changed the context of the game.
Mossley striker Dougie Carroll took advantage of two defensive lapses by City, scoring in the 41st and 45th minutes
The first goal came after a set-piece taken by Kyle McGonigle, which was deflected by Carroll out of goalkeeper Mike Hale’s gloves.
Moments later Mossley’s number 11 hit a stunning volley on the turn after he found himself unmarked inside the box to put the hosts in command.
The match as a whole was a clash of two different styles. The Dolly Blues worked hard to pass the ball through the midfield, trying to create opportunities in the final third.
Mossley however opted for a more physical approach, playing the long ball game and hoping that set pieces would do the trick.
City’s best moments were generally when right-back Rob Henry, midfielder Billy Akrigg and winger Jacob Gregory combined on the right hand side.
The three of them created the visitors’ only shot on target in the first half, attempted by Akrigg and saved by Mossley keeper Liam Flynn.
Lancaster’s best opportunity in the second half also came from the right flank.
In the 87th minute Gregory crossed the ball from the right after a surging run, disappointingly though neither substitute Tom Kilifin or Craig Carney could get on the end of it.
Having been not fit enough to start both captain Neil Marshall and top-scorer Ryan Winder came off the bench in the second half, but by then, the physical approach of the hosts had already taken its toll with City suffering their first defeat in the last six games.