Kendal Town 0
AFC Fylde 3
Co-Operative Lancashire FA Trophy Semi-Final
ABJECT Kendal Town surrendered to AFC Fylde with a poor showing at the Lancashire FA County Ground in Leyland.
They were unable to replicate last year’s run to the final of the competition and apart from the first five minutes, Town were second best throughout the tie.
It was a good start from the Cumbrians, who won three corners in that opening spell, but from the eighth minute AFC Fylde began to assert their dominance, with Kendal’s Jack Cook clearing off the line from an Adam Carden shot after goalkeeper Craig Dootson saved from a Michael Barnes effort.
Ten minutes later and Carden played a perfectly-weighted through ball which saw Michael Barnes get the wrong side of left back Callum Hoctor, but Dootson closed the gap between himself and the striker well to thwart the chance.
Fylde continued to huff and puff and in the 24th minute, James Dean’s header hit the post but he was ruled offside anyway.
A minute later and Dootson pulled off an excellent save as Fylde tried to break the deadlock.
Danny McGahon was played as a central midfielder for the first time and he and Jack Cook were helping to stabilise the middle of the park, but Fylde looked dangerous from deep crosses aimed at the tall Dean up front.
Kendal offered nothing going forward though, with Maison McGeechan and Zach Clark suffering from poor games which included crosses wildly going out of play, dribbles that took them down blind alleys, and poor first touches on the ball.
Kendal’s first real chance of note came in the 37th minute when Simon Rawnsley had a shot on the edge of the box comfortably saved by Fylde keeper Ben Hinchcliffe, one of five former Town players in the opposition squad.
With five minutes left Joe Booth clipped the crossbar after he was afforded a free header by the Kendal defence from a Josh Holland cross, and the Black and Whites were very lucky to go into half time with the deadlock yet to be broken.
The second half picked up where the first half left off as Kendal struggled to get out of their own half and on the 51st minute, Jack Dorney got in behind the Kendal defence. He was tackled but Booth was set up with the simplest of finishes deep inside the box by another Fylde player, with Kendal’s defenders and Dootson still wrapped up with Dorney, and Fylde took a deserved lead.
Martin Grundy nearly put the ball in his own net as he stopped a Sumner cross from reaching a Fylde target, but his interception worked out well in the end, and Grundy kept tall striker James Dean at bay.
Kendal had a decent five-minute spell after the goal but time and again moves broke down as the Mintcakes failed to find any rhythm going forward and Cook and McGahon began to get overrun in midfield.
Michael Barnes was sought on the Fylde right constantly and the impressive midfielder caused havoc to Kendal’s defence every time the ball was sprayed out to him.
Kendal captain Kevin Brown nearly conceded a penalty in the 67th minute when Booth went down under the skipper’s attentions, but referee Simeon Lucas waved the appeals away.
In a rare Kendal attack, Hoctor had a shot blocked on the edge of the box but the Cumbrians were offering nothing going forward and Fylde resumed normal service when Dorney had a chance in the box for the Lancashire side, but he couldn’t get his feet around the ball properly.
With 11 minutes remaining Dorney got his goal when the ball fell to him after Michael Barnes had an effort blocked on the edge of the box following another run on the right hand side. Dorney lifted a sumptuous effort over Dootson’s head, leaving the keeper with no chance, as he curled his side into a 2-0 lead.
Five minutes later and it was game over. Dean held the ball up well as he played a nice ball to Sumner on the left, and Dootson was forced into an excellent save when Brown got on the end of Sumner’s cross and almost put the ball in his own net. But former Kendal striker Adam Farrell was on hand to tuck the ball home and end the contest.
Kendal appeared to give up the ghost after the third goal and Fylde were left to celebrate as they booked a place in the final of the competition against Bacup Borough at the Reebok Stadium on Monday, March 11.
Craig Dootson, Dean Overson, Callum Hoctor, Jack Cook, Kevin Brown, Martin Grundy, Danny McGahon, Zach Clark, Mike Rushton, Simon Rawnsley, Maison McGeechan.
Substitutes: Liam Shields for Rawnsley (70), Aaron Helliwell for Clark (79)
Subs not used: Max Rothwell, Dan Ferguson, Jamie Hastings
Yellow cards: Dean Overson
Ben Hinchcliffe, Josh Holland (Jack Dorney 45), Adam Sumner, Matty Hughes, Glenn Steel, Brad Barnes (Ashley Dunn 45), Adam Carden, Joe Booth (Adam Farrell 76), James Dean, Michael Barnes, Jimmy McCarthy.
Subs not used: Michael Taylor, Phil Bannister
Yellow cards: None
Key man: Craig Dootson – Could not be blamed for any of the Fylde goals and the scoreline would have been a lot more embarrassing had it not been for Dootson’s saves.