Tadcaster Albion 1-2 Lancaster City
Lancaster City went top of the Evo-Stik First Division North as they came from behind at Tadcaster Albion in the first ever meeting between the sides.
Ryan Winder’s first goal since his return to the club and another Jacob Gregory strike were enough for the three points against the league newcomers who will have a right to say they deserved something from the game despite the Dolly Blues having the better of the chances.
Rob Henry started at right back allowing Simon Wills to enthusiastically and convincingly return to his natural habitat in front of the back four.
Billy Akrigg had the first effort on goal with a deflected strike from distance that was well saved by Leon Wrigglesworth.
Gregory then found himself in the penalty area and could have gone down under pressure but opted to keep going and his weak effort was easily dealt with by Andy Milne on the line.
The winger was then again involved as Josh Westwood found him with a sublime diagonal ball, but his cutback was blazed over by Craig Carney.
Tadcaster’s best spell of the first half came in the minutes leading up to the break.
Wrigglesworth’s knock found its way to Tom Corner, who whipped across goal but Adam Baker could only steer wide from close range before Carl Stewart broke the offside trap only to be met by Mike Hale who was out quickly to narrow the angle.
Albion did, however, break the deadlock bang on half-time as an almost carbon copy of Baker’s chance was this time successfully converted, Rob Youhill providing for Corner to slam home.
That lead lasted barely a minute though as Carney skipped round two Tadcaster men before rolling to the back post for Winder to send the teams in at one each.
Straight after the restart Corner’s header was volleyed away by Ricky Mercer and Hale had to be alert, getting down low to stop Stewart’s long-range free kick. Baker was then denied on the rebound but probably should have done better.
Charlie Waters replaced Akrigg for City at half-time and the youngster made an impact, charging down the right and setting up Gregory to rifle a left-footed shot into the bottom corner to give the Blues the lead.
From then on, there were chances at both ends at the Dollies looked to seal victory and Albion searched for an equaliser.
Winder looked dangerous on the left when one-on-one with Josh Barrett and was unlucky not to have an assist to add to his goal, cutting inside and finding Gregory who didn’t get enough on it to beat Wrigglesworth.
Adam Sumner’s corner then almost led to a third for Lancaster but Louis Mayers’ header was cleared off the line by Barrett.
Gregory could have had another as he took Carney’s chipped pass brilliantly into his stride but was foiled by Wrigglesworth again, before Winder flashed past the post.
At the other end Stewart was desperately unlucky not to equalize with two great efforts, first as he dinked over Hale from a wide angle but was thwarted by the bar. He then beat Sumner all ends up as he chested past the left back but Hale came to the rescue once again.
A professional and encouraging showing from the Dolly Blues sets them up well for the challenging Christmas period, hopefully further boosted by the return of Jordan Connerton from a knee injury.
Lancaster City: Hale, Henry, Sumner, Wills, Westwood, Mercer, Gregory, Akrigg (Waters), Mayers, Carney, Winder.