Fortunate Witton Albion leave plucky Kendal Town nonplussed as luck deserts Black and Whites (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Fortunate Witton Albion leave plucky Kendal Town nonplussed as luck deserts Black and Whites
Witton Albion 3
Kendal Town 0
Evo-Stik Premier Division
THE scoreline did not reflect the performance in Cheshire as Kendal Town were victimised by some poor refereeing decisions that cost the Cumbrians an opportunity at securing vital points in their relegation scrap.
It was a tale of three penalties, two clear cut ones not given to Kendal and a soft one awarded to Witton, that separated the sides operating at opposite ends of the table.
In the 11th minute Black and Whites striker Aaron Taylor was through one-on-one with goalkeeper Stuart Plant, and he appeared to be brought down in the box by the keeper as he rounded him with the net gaping. But to the astonishment of the entire ground, rather than awarding a spot-kick and sending off Plant, whose head was in his arms after the challenge as he thought he had conceded a penalty, he booked Taylor for diving and Witton were given a gigantic reprieve.
Fifteen minutes later, the home side were cruelly awarded a penalty when referee Joseph Johnson judged that Rob Wilson had fouled Albion skipper Anthony Sheehan in the area in a decision that left Kendal boss Steve Edmondson fuming. Josh Hancock sent Craig Dootson the wrong way to give Witton a fortuitous lead.
The manner in which Witton took the lead was harsh on the Black and Whites, who dealt with the home side’s passing game very well. Albion had the bulk of the play in the first period, Joseph Shaw conceding a free kick in the Kendal box for a foul when he tried to meet Hancock’s header across goal being one example of this.
Hancock had a shot deflected behind with four minutes of the half remaining, while Steven Foster was wrongly given offside when he was played a through-ball shortly after.
Kendal have been guilty of a lack of concentration straight after half time in games this season, and that threatened to happen again when Dootson was forced into a few saves to tip the ball away from goal before the 50th minute, firstly from a Michael Powell free kick and then from shots by full backs Anthony Gardner and Matthew Wood.
But Kendal were vastly improved compared to the team that lost to Frickley Athletic last week, and with the pressure off they looked like they wanted victory more. Martin Grundy and Wilson harried Witton into making mistakes at the back, which almost gave the impressive Taylor a chance before it was cleared by a defender.
Grundy then curled a wonderful, placed shot from the edge of the area which drew a theatrical save from an outstretched Plant in the 54th minute.
Mike Barron had a couple of long range efforts that were not too far away before he had a shot charged down and another chance in the box that hit the sidenetting as the Black and Whites searched for an equaliser.
But in the 66th minute Foster played a sensational, defence-splitting pass that left Daniel Andrews one-on-one with the keeper, and the winger kept his cool to nutmeg Dootson and double his side’s lead.
Mike Rushton looked in two minds about what to do with a Wilson cross when he had space in the box in the 76th minute for Kendal. He looked like he didn’t know whether to shoot first time or control the ball and in the end he effectively passed the ball to Plant in the Witton net.
Then with eight minutes remaining came Kendal’s second stonewall penalty that wasn’t given. Substitute Zach Clark crossed from the left and a Witton player patted the ball away with his hands up by his face, but once again, Johnson waved away appeals for handball.
And Witton really rubbed salt into Kendal wounds when they counter-attacked and Shaun Tuck hit the post for the home side. But with the goal gaping, Hancock drove the ball into the roof of the net to end any hopes of a revival and make it 3-0.
There was time for Clark to have a shot charged down and Grundy to get a header saved by Plant from a corner, but fate had conspired to give Kendal the most unluckiest of days at the office.
Stuart Plant, Anthony Gardner, Matthew Wood, Ben Harison, Joshua Glover (Joshua Horne 45), Anthony Sheehan (c), Josh Hancock, Michael Powell, Joseph Shaw (Shaun Tuck 57), Steven Foster (Oliver James 80), Daniel Andrews.
Subs not used: Michael Moseley, Matthew Cooper
Craig Dootson, Maison McGeechan, Jamie Hastings, Jack Cook, Kevin Brown (c), Adam Freeland, Martin Grundy, Mike Barron, Mike Rushton, Aaron Taylor, Rob Wilson.
Subs: Zach Clark for Taylor (64), Liam Shields for Barron (78), Aaron Helliwell for Rushton (85)
Subs not used: Phil Eastwood, Corry Vickers
Yellow cards: Taylor
Key man: Kevin Brown – Led by example and won nearly everything thrown at him both in the air and on the ground.