LANCASTER CITY claimed their second home league victory of the season on Saturday afternoon in emphatic style over 10-man Garforth Town.
In an unchanged line up from Tuesday’s win over Bamber Bridge, the Dolly Blues struck three of their goals in seven minutes as Tom Kilifin scored from close range, Max Rothwell headed home and Rodrigo Branco notched a double.
The home side started poorly as it took Garforth only 90 seconds to take the lead when James Burgess easily rounded City’s defence and crossed for Miles Smith to score from the edge of the box.
However, City quickly bounced back as Dave Swarbrick’s 30-yard free kick found Tom Kilifin at the right post, allowing the striker to drill the equaliser through Garforth goalkeeper Shaun O’Neill’s legs.
The game opened up as the two sides were evenly matched heading to half-time. The away side almost recaptured the lead when Fernando Moke’s scuffed shot was cleared off the line by Michael Stringfellow.
In the second half, Garforth were swiftly reduced to 10 men as defender Francisco Gomes incurred a second bookable offence after a two-footed lunge on Branco.
This allowed the Dolly Blues to assert their authority, deservedly taking the lead through Branco, who headed home Rothwell’s cross from an acute angle.
Rothwell then added his own name to the score sheet by bundling Rob Wilson’s cross from the right over the line.
The Dolly Blues continued their charge as Branco tapped in his second after Garforth goalkeeper O’Neill spilled a routine back pass in his area.
Swarbrick almost grabbed a fifth when he struck Wilson’s flicked on ball against the cross bar. In the closing stages, Branco pushed for his hat-trick, narrowly missing out by heading another Wilson cross from the right high and wide.
City survived a late scare in injury time as Garforth substitute Alex Bracken’s solo effort from the edge of the area was cleared off the line by skipper Neil Marshall.
The only dampener on the Dolly Blues’ dominant victory was injuries to two key defenders in quick succession.
First Ryan Elderton left the field clutching his left knee after an innocuous challenge by Fernando Moke. Eight minutes later, Dan Parkinson was forced off after pulling up sharply with what appears to be a hamstring injury.
However, it was a deserved three points and a much-needed win for City who climb five places up to ninth in the Evo-Stik First Division North.
Lancaster City: McDonald 6, Parkinson 6 (Hudson 36), Elderton 6 (Wilson 26), Marshall 6, Gregson 6, Stringfellow 7, Clark 7, Swarbrick 7, Branco 7, Kilifin 7, Dodwell 6 (Rothwell 63). Subs not used: Wainwright, McKenna.
Garforth Town: O’Neill, Williams, Gomes, Liburd, Normaschild, L Sherry, Moke, Smith, Burgess (Bracken 84), Lyn, Ibrahim.
Referee: Peter Gooch.
Star Man: Dave Swarbrick – He was the driving force behind the attack in Lancaster’s midfield and produced high-quality crosses throughout the match.