|LV= County Championship Division Two, Emirates Old Trafford|
|Lancashire 96-4: Horton 25, Dawson 2-7, Porter 2-24|
|Essex: Yet to bat|
Lancashire's batsmen struggled against Essex before rain ended play early on the first day at Old Trafford.
The hosts put on 48 for the first wicket before seamer Jamie Porter (2-24) struck twice in one over to remove Paul Horton (25) and Karl Brown (18).
Liam Dawson trapped Alviro Peterson (14) lbw and then bowled Ashwell Prince (21) to leave Lancashire in trouble.
Only two more overs were played before the weather halted proceedings with the Division Two leaders on 96-4.
All-rounder Dawson's two wickets were his first for Essex since he joined them from Hampshire in a month-long loan deal.
Lancashire wicketkeeper Alex Davies:
"It's been eventful so far but we're probably not in the position we would have liked to have been.
"There were a couple of good balls in there but all in all it was a pretty frustrating day. We scored at a decent rate and the job now is to look to rebuild and get a decent first-innings total.
"The team are a few points clear at the top and we are in a pretty good position but there's a lot more work to be done yet."
Essex bowler Liam Dawson:
"It was nice to make an impact straight away and nice to get a bit of spin out of the wicket as well.
"It was a decent day for us to get four wickets on day one in only a few overs.
"Hopefully, we'll get a full day tomorrow and try to bowl them out as quickly as we can and then try and get a decent score ourselves."