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Mossley 1-3 Kendal Town
A SECOND-HALF Jordan Connerton double completed Kendal’s comeback and ensured their season started with a bang at Mossley.
The former Crewe Alexandra forward’s goalscoring exploits followed Danny Mitchley’s leveller after Andrew Keogh had given the Lilywhites a half-time lead.
Mossley led the league for much of last season before suffering play-off heartache and the Seel Park club had the opening chance of the game in the tenth minute.
Lewis Nightingale – the home side’s brightest spark in the opening period – saw his left-footed free-kick from 25 yards drift narrowly wide with visiting goalkeeper Damien Clifton rooted to the spot.
Moments later, Connerton failed to hit the target with a header from a dangerous Rob Wilson set-piece, after Kyle McGonigle had fouled Mitchley.
Nightingale, a 22-year-old Huddersfield Town academy graduate, came close again midway through the half as his thunderous long-range effort rebounded off the underside of the crossbar.
Steve Edmondson’s side looked capable of causing problems in the final third but created little in terms of clear-cut chances by the time the hosts opened the scoring.
Despite the best efforts of Clifton, ex-Flixton midfielder Keogh headed home Mark Haslam’s cross from the right flank in the 36th minute, finishing off the move he started.
Shortly before the break, Connerton had a guilt-edged opportunity to draw his side level but saw his effort parried behind by Russ Saunders in the Mossley goal.
The Lancaster-born striker collected a neat pass from skipper Danny Coid after Ross Lloyd’s cross-field ball but was denied after cutting inside full-back Haslam.
After the restart, the away side took control of the midfield battle and were the dominant team for the majoirty of the second period.
Zach Clark, who saw plenty of the ball in the first-half but lacked an end product, proved a dangerous outlet in the opening stages.
After a strong run, the former Clitheroe winger found Coid who released Connerton with a clever pass but the frontman could not apply the finishing touch to a neat move.
Kendal continued to press and drew level 12 minutes into the second-half, Mitchley collecting a deep centre by Clark before cutting inside, enginnering space and producing a low finish past Saunders.
The visitors remained in the ascendency before taking the lead with quarter of an hour remaining, with Connerton opening his account for the campaign in typically predatory fashion.
Adam Main regained possession outside the Mossley box before finding Mitchley whose shot was spilled by Saunders, allowing Connerton to pounce and tap home.
The hosts – who lost player-manager Steve Halford to Ashton United in the summer – failed to overly trouble the visitors’ goal, with the Mintcakes defending resolutely for the remainder of proceedings.
The only chance of note was McGonigle’s strike from range which was comfortable for Clifton before Connerton secured all three points with a goal in stoppage time.
Lloyd played in the frontman after a powerful run and he settled matters with a shot across Saunders into the far corner after holding off the challenge of Haslam.
Kendal now host Ossett Albion on Tuesday as they bid to record back-to-back victories and get life in Evo-Stik League Division One North off to the perfect start.
Team: Clifton, Lloyd, McGeechan, Wilson (Grundy 76), Stringfellow, Cowperthwaite, Main, Coid, Mitchley (Freeland 90), Connerton, Clark (Gonzales 76). Subs not used: Knipe, Selby
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