BRADLEY Barraclough bagged the only goal as Gainsborough Trinity claimed a victory that will send Gloucester City into Christmas in the Skrill North relegation places.
The Trinity goal had lived a charmed life with Connor Waldon striking the woodwork and Darren Edwards’ seeing an attempt towards goal cleared off the line in a luckless second half for the Tigers.
But Barraclough’s goal, sandwiched between City’s two best opportunities, proved to be the only one of the game and saw Dave Mehew’s side drop into the bottom three.
The Tigers conjured up the first opportunity of the game with striker Scott Wilson finding space on the right, but his shot skied way over the bar.
Gainsborough could have taken the lead after the ball had rebounded to Simon Russell in the area, but with time on side the midfielder scuffed the ball wide.
City began to take control and two chances in quick succession came their way, firstly a powerful header from Matt Liddiard and then a brilliant turn and shot by Connor Waldon that whistled past the far post.
Trinity quickly hit back with two clear efforts, Ciaran Toner gained the ball in midfield and unleashed a sensational effort that was tipped wide by Mike Green and Callum Howe knocked wide from the following corner.
After an uninspiring first period, the visitors attempted to start the second with a bang, but Howe’s looping header could only find the top of the net with Green backpedalling.
A minute later, Trinity came inches from taking the lead with Russell sweetly striking the ball just past the upright.
The Tigers came even closer shortly after with Waldon smashing a close range effort against the woodwork after a superb run down the left by Scott Wilson.
However, City were made to pay for not converting their chances when on 58 minutes Liam Davis poked the ball through to Barraclough in the centre who swivelled expertly to knock home.
There could have been a second for Gainsborough only for Mike Green’s strong right hand denying Jamie Wootton’s low, hard drive moments after.
With time running out City pushed forward as Mehew brought on veteran striker Edwards and Will Morford, and the return of influential midfielder Lewis Hogg from injury.
It almost proved a masterstroke with Edwards directing a Matt Groves corner towards goal, only for Russell to clear off the line for the Lincolnshire outfit.
But the Northholme side stood firm and sealed the three points for the long journey back up North.
Gloucester City: M. Green, M. Green, M. Giglio, M. Coupe, J. Harris, M. Liddiard, Z. Kotwica (L Hogg 61), D. Mullings, S. Wilson (W Morford 63), C. Waldon (D Edwards 68), M. Groves
Subs not used: J. Parker, D. Haile
Gainsborough Trinity: P. Barnes, D. Roma, J. Wilde, L. McMahon, C. Howe, G. Young, S. Russell, C. Toner, J. Wootton (D Stamp 81), B. Barraclough (M Williams 90), L. Davis
Subs not used: J. Lacey, J. Batty, A. Martin
Goals: Barraclough 58