Kendal Town 2
Lancashire FA Co-Operative Challenge Trophy
Kendal Town gained revenge for last season’s Lancashire Trophy final defeat by Chorley as they beat the defending champions at the first hurdle tonight (Tuesday).
It was a commanding performance by the young Parkside Road team as they deservedly claimed their place in the next round of the cup.
Kendal started the brighter of the sides, Scott Harries cutting inside and shooting over after just two minutes, with Kevin Leadbetter going close from a free kick shortly after.
Leadbetter, playing at left back, whipped in a great corner which captain Marc Joseph came very close to scoring with his head but from the 10th minute Chorley woke up and began to come back into the game.
Tom Williams went on a long run for the away side to set up Kirk Millar on the edge of the box, but the winger skied his shot.
But Chorley went ahead in the 18th minute after former Blackburn Rovers star Matt Jansen played a terrific defence-splitting pass. The lightning-quick Millar beat keeper Craig Dootson to the ball and he nipped the ball past the keeper to give his side the lead.
The Black and Whites proceeded to dominate the rest of the half and the match as they sought an equaliser.
Joe Bunney got his feet mixed up after Alex Taylor played a lovely ball through the middle for straight after Chorley’s goal, while Taylor produced a superb save from Peter Collinge when the away keeper got down low and stopped the Kendal top-scorer’s left-footed curler from going into the corner of the goal.
With 36 minutes gone, Leadbetter took advantage of a free kick played quickly into him by playing a ball into Bunney from the left. The striker played a neat little pass to Taylor, whose classy finish from just inside the area left the Chorley keeper helpless as Kendal scored a deserved leveller.
The second half started with a Leadbetter cross-come-shot totally confusing Collinge and the Chorley keeper ended up making a terrific save onto his post to deny the Mintcakes the lead.
From the resulting corner four or five home players surrounded the referee after an alleged handball in the box, which Paul Kettlewell waved away, and then a bizarre miss took place from the following corner.
With Joseph and Conor Qualter at the back post, the latter, signed on a month’s loan from Halifax last week, missed a gaping open goal by hitting the woodwork with his effort and with 51 minutes gone the tie was still level.
Josh Amis was a handful all night, one effort of his just missing in the 54th minute, while Leadbetter had a glorious chance to put Kendal ahead but he lifted his effort wide after he was one-on-one with the keeper.
Bunney showed what a talent he could be in the game by scoring a superb goal on the turn in the 69th minute but the effort was disallowed for offside.
However three minutes later he secured his fourth goal in three games for Town. He never stopped running all night and that workrate forced a Chorley defender into making a mistake which Bunney took full advantage of. He brought the ball into the area, took his time and tucked his shot past Collinge to put the home side deservedly in front.
As the tie reached the last five minutes Kendal had chances to kill the game off.
Amis shot straight at the keeper and Qualter diverted his effort over the bar when he was just a few yards from goal after a Leadbetter corner with three minutes to go.
The nerves jangled as reminders of the 4-1 lead squandered at Ilkeston on Saturday came back to the psyche, but Chorley succumbed as their defence of the cup fell down at the first attempt, and the Black and Whites marched on into the next round.
Craig Dootson, Naim El-Harrati, Ian Kilford, Conor Qualter, Marc Joseph (c), Adam Birchall, Scott Harries, Alex Taylor, Joe Bunney, Josh Amis, Kevin Leadbetter.
Subs not used: Jack Cook, Alex Ralph, Josh Welsby.
Yellow cards: None.
Key man: Joe Bunney – Never stopped running throughout the game and his workrate got him a deserved goal.
Collinge, Walmsley, Walker (Whittam 63), Teague (c), Russell, Mellor, Williams, Parrilion, Kilheeney (Ahmadi 55), Jansen (Roscoe 55), Millar.
Subs not used: Flitcroft, Cudworth
Yellow cards: None.