KENDAL United gave below-par Keswick a run for their money in the Westmorland Football League on Saturday.
Both teams cancelled each other out early on, but Keswick could have taken the lead had Bannister not been ruled offside when he rounded Kendal’s keeper and put the ball in the back of the net.
Shortly after United’s free kick was flicked on through the middle and Greg Pierce smashed the ball into the ned from 18 yards out to give Kendal a surprise lead going into half time.
Pressure from several corners resulted in Keswick’s next two goals, Bannister nodding home from close range before a Hilton corner was deflected off a defender to put Keswick 2-1 up.
Kendal continued to look dangerous on the break and they missed two gilt-edged chances which would prove to be their downfall.
Bannister lobbed the keeper to cap a 3-1 victory for Keswick that keeps up the pressure on Appleby, who cruised to a 7-1 victory over Penrith Rangers.
Neil Dean’s hat-trick, a brace by Jordan Crawford and goals from Thomas Armstrong and Neil Dent kept the league leaders five points ahead of Keswick having played three games more.
Sedbergh Wanderers picked up their first victory of the season in a bottom of the table clash against Kendal Celtic, who remain without a win this season. Both sides are now on three points.
Staveley United came out of the blocks against third-placed Kirkoswald with a point to prove to manager Gary Naylor after a dismal display against Keswick the previous week.
Jamie Stott turned in a delightful cross from Adam Thwaites to give Staveley the lead after five minutes and 10 minutes later, Callum Thwaites played a ball over the top of the Kirkoswald defence which allowed Stott to outpace the centre back and smash a rasping shot into the far corner of the net.
After 30 minutes Kirkoswald pulled one back through a ferocious shot from the corner of the box.
But this was quickly cancelled out when Adam Thwaites’ pinpoint ball allowed Stott to complete his hat-trick to make it 3-1 to Staveley at half time.
No more goals were added in the second half as Staveley achieved their second victory of the season.
In Division Two Ibis inflicted the first defeat of the season on table-topping Carvetii United with a superb 2-1 win.
Meanwhile in the Westmorland Junior Cup, Coniston progressed to round two with a 13-2 battering of Kirkby Lonsdale Reserves, while Kirby Thore defeated Dent 4-0.
Unisun Athletic booked their place in the next round with a 6-0 win at home to Lunesdale United Reserves and Burneside Reserves beat Greystoke 4-1.