The slipshod start to the new season by Gainsborough Trinity continued when they were licked by Lancaster City on Saturday for their third defeat in five games.
Manager Liam King demanded a positive reaction after blasting his players’ efforts in a loss at Matlock Town on Bank Holiday Monday, but he didn’t get one.
Instead the Holy Blues crashed 4-2 to the Dolly Blues on a day to forget at the Martin and Co Arena, and slipped to as low as 17th in the BetVictor Northern Premier League, Premier Division table.
In front of a crowd of 483, Trinity were effectively sunk by a first-half hat-trick from Lancaster’s veteran midfielder David Norris, who struck on 18, 30 and 42 minutes.
Norris’s first goal came when he nodded home after a Sam Bailey corner had been headed back across goal by Glenn Steel.
Next, Jason Walker led a breakaway, holding the ball up before squaring to Norris, who slotted past debutant goalkeeper Callum Fielding.
And then a scuffed clearance found its way to Norris, who exchanged passes with Matt Blinkhorn before completing his treble with a shot from the edge of the area.
Stunned Trinity rallied early in the second half when new loan signing Branden Horton rifled into the roof of the net. But only two minutes later Lancaster restored their three-goal advantage as Walker lifted a precuse effort over the stranded Fielding.
The sending-off of visiting defender Luke Thompson, who picked up a second yellow card for a foul, gave Trinity a glimmer of hope.
But their only response was a consolation goal from Curtis Morrison, who drove inside and smashed home off the inside of a post.