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Northwich Victoria 2-1 Kendal Town
A GOAL in each half proved enough for Lee Ashcroft’s Northwich Victoria to record victory over Kendal Town despite a late consolation from Danny Mitchley.
Marc Williams added to Warren Beattie’s own goal to give the hosts – playing at Flixton’s Valley Road ground – a comfortable lead before Mitchley’s header reduced the arrears.
Kendal centre-half Michael Stringfellow and Northwich goalkeeper Tim Deasy saw red as both sides finished proceedings with ten men.
Steve Edmsondson made one change from the side which dismantled Wakefield three days earlier, with leading scorer Jordan Connerton replacing Maison McGeechan.
Neither keeper was overly tested in a scrappy start to the game, with Connerton and Mitchley both firing over the bar inside the opening ten minutes.
After a foul by ex-Kendal midfielder Simon Garner on Ross Lloyd, Niall Cowperthwaite headed over Rob Wilson’s wicked delivery from the right flank.
And midway through the half, neat play from Zach Clark down the left enabled the pacey wingman to pick out Mitchley who saw his shot blocked by Kyle Armstrong.
Northwich’s first sight of goal came in the 25th minute with Craig Dootson denying full-back Chris Smalley after a scramble in the box following Kieran Lugsden’s free-kick.
A feature of Ashcroft’s teams while manager at Parkside Road was a compact midfield with width offered by overlapping full-backs and this tactic was in evidence after 37 minutes.
Left-back Danny Wisdom was afforded time and space to cross for Lugsden, with the ball finding its way into the net off the unfortunate Beattie, who was playing against his former side.
Seven minutes into the second period came the controversial moment when two players were given their marching orders.
As Deasy claimed Wilson’s corner, an altercation took place between the Northwich stopper and Stringfellow, which resulted in both being show a second yellow card
Former Barrow man Stringfellow was deemed to have obstructed the keeper while Deasy was dismissed for retaliation, with former Lancaster City striker Darren Green taking over in goal.
Kendal switched to a back three, a defence which was breached again on 63 minutes when substitute Scott Harries crossed for Williams to power a header past Dootson.
The same two combined moments later with Williams’ low effort hitting the outside of the post, while at the other end Cowperthwaite’s volley was saved by Green.
After a series of late corners, Kendal halved the deficit when Mitchley planted a downward header past Green from a Lloyd cross to give the Mintcakes late hope.
Northwich Victoria: Tim Deasy, Chris Smalley, Danny Wisdom, Danny Gregson (Callum Henry 37), Ricky Mercer (c), Brian Summersgill, Simon Garner, Alex Taylor (Scott Harries 60), Kieran Lugsden (Darren Green 53), Marc Williams, Kyle Armstrong. Subs not used: Alex Brees, Mickey Thomas
Kendal Town: Craig Dootson, Ross Lloyd, Jack Smith, Warren Beattie, Michael Stringfellow, Niall Cowperthwaite, Rob Wilson (Mike Rushton 64), Danny Coid (c) (Sefton Gonzales 71), Danny Mitchley, Jordan Connerton, Zach Clark (Maison McGeechan 67). Subs not used: Martin Grundy, Matthew Knipe
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