Kendal Town 6 Eastwood Town 0
Evo-Stik Premier Division
KENDAL Town destroyed ten-man Eastwood Town in a relegation six pointer as manager Steve Edmondson bagged the first victory of his tenure.
The must-win game was all but over after 26 minutes, thanks to two goals from the outstanding Simon Rawnsley and another by his strike partner Maison McGeechan, who impressed in his first game since returning from Thailand.
Town should have scored more in the first-half and could have been ahead within a minute of the kick-off when McGeechan was played through, but his curling shot was well-saved by Eastwood keeper Richard Stainby.
That move was a sign of things to come, as Kendal’s tactic of playing inch-perfect balls into the channels for their strikers to run onto paid off.
After Eastwood’s players dithered on the halfway line, an excellent low pass from right winger Zach Clark sent Rawnsley on his way, before the number 9 calmly slotted the ball in the near corner.
Three minutes later, Rawnsley got his second with the goal of the game, striking the ball sweetly into the left hand corner on the turn from 20 yards.
The crafty McGeechan, once on Bolton Wanderers’ books, made it three when another ball into the right-hand channel caught the Nottinghamshire team off guard again.
It was no less than the Mintcakes deserved for their adventurous approach, with two players staying up front at all times.
The visitors created few clear-cut chances after having an early goal ruled out for offside.
Their approach was to float balls from deep into the box for their lofty strikers.
But Kendal’s defence was more than a match for whatever came their way, with Rawmsley proving his all-round ability by making several headed clearances.
Both sides struggled to settle after the interval, but the game turned on a controversial incident after an hour’s play, when Eastwood’s Mitch Hanson was lucky not to have been sent off.
The winger lashed out and appeared to strike James Short in the face as both players were on the floor following a 50-50 collision.
It seemed to fire up the visitors and within three minutes they had a shot cleared off the line by Kendal ‘keeper Ryan Robinson.
Eastwood were making inroads in midfield, but could not get a breakthrough which led to the dismissal of Scott Rogers, whose frustration boiled over when he was given a second yellow in the 80th minute for dissent.
The Black and Whites made the most of their advantage and took the East Midlands side apart with three goals in quick succession, from substitutes Mike Rushton, who got two, and Aaron Halliwell.
After the match, Edmondson reflected on the emphatic victory.
“In the first half we were excellent and it should have been more,” he said.
“We were really up for it and it was an important win. It is great for the club and our team spirit. It will build confidence going forward.
“If we stick together and play like we did today as a unit, we are in with a good chance.”
Ryan Robinson, Danny Maghan, James Short, Liam Shields, Kevin Brown, Adam Freeland, Martin Grundy, Zach Clark, Simon Rawnsley, Maison McGeechan, Callum Hoctor.
Subs: Mike Rushton for Clark (65), Aaron Halliwell for McGeechan (70), Jack Cook for Shields (75)
Subs not used: Max Rothwell, Dave Foster
Key man: Simon Rawnsley – scored twice and never stopped working for his team, helping out in defence while linking well with Maison McGeechan up front.
Richard Stainsby, Joshua Raven, Chris Shaw, Graham Romaine (c), Daniel Roberts, Paolo Piliero, Jake Green, Mitch Hanson, Greg Smith, Lavell White, Scott Rogers
Subs: Vijay Selvam for Raven (16), Matt Harris for White (70)
Subs not used: Gary Breach, Aaser Petter, Adam Campbell