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Report: Cammell Laird 2-3 Kendal Town
DARREN GREEN’S first goal in Kendal colours clinched a last-gasp victory for his new club against last season’s beaten play-off finalists Cammell Laird at the Kirklands Stadium.
The Mintcakes led three times with Green’s intervention proving decisive after a frantic finale which saw Craig Dootson save a late Jon Atkinson penalty.
Earlier, Daley Woods cancelled out a Sefton Gonzales strike to peg Kendal back for the second time after Atkinson had levelled following Danny Mitchley’s first-half opener.
Steve Edmondson made one change from the team that beat Farsley so convincingly with Ricky Mercer, signed from Northwich Victoria, replacing Michael Stringfellow in the visitors’ backline.
Defences were on top in the opening stages with neither side able to make much headway although Kendal looked the sharper in the final third.
After six minutes the well-rehearsed corner routine between Rob Wilson and Mitchley gave the latter a sight of goal only for the former Blackpool forward to fluff his lines.
The 23-year-old had the game’s next opportunity on the half-hour mark, latching onto a forward ball only for Lairds’ keeper Kevin Atherton to charge down his effort on the edge of the area.
However, Mitchley did not have long to wait to bag his eighth of the campaign, scoring in the 36th minute following a period of Kendal pressure.
After Atherton had repelled Cowperthwaite’s volley from a Wilson corner, the home side’s defence failed to deal with the midfielder’s inswinging set-piece from the opposite side.
An initial header from Gonzales was cleared off the line by Lairds’ skipper Chay Dysart only for Mitchley to steer home a volley from inside the six-yard box.
The lead was almost doubled moments later after another slick move, Danny Coid taking a clever flick from Mitchley in his stride before firing narrowly wide of the post.
Shortly before the break Lairds had their first shot at goal, a driving run from John Miles allowed the Liverpool academy graduate to slip in Atkinson who was denied by Dootson.
And seconds later at the other end, Atherton palmed away a Wilson effort with the rebound cleared ahead of a lurking Gonzales, who was having a growing influence on the game.
Lairds had barely threatened but equalised on 54 minutes, Atkinson’s low shot from the edge of the area finding the net despite Dootson getting a hand to the ball.
But two minutes later, Gonzales ensured the hosts’ joy was short-lived as his downward header from a right-wing Wilson corner restored the Parkside Road club’s advantage.
To be successful at places like Cammell Laird visiting teams are required to stand up to the physical battle and for the most part Kendal matched their opponents in this department.
But Lairds have players capable of scoring goals in their ranks, with Jamie Henders netting more than 30 last season while new signing Woods was Clitheroe's top-scorer.
And the pair combined to draw Tony Sullivan’s side level in the 66th minute, Woods diverting Henders’ inviting ball into the box beyond Dootson.
Wilson’s set-pieces continued to cause problems, Woods clearing a deep corner from underneath the crossbar before Cowperthwaite volleyed over after a neat Beattie header over the defence.
Mitchley failed to hit the target with a close-range header from another Wilson delivery with quarter of an hour remaining before the game ignited in the final stages.
With the match in stoppage time and a draw looking the most likely outcome, the referee pointed to the spot after Liam Hollett fell to the ground following a Danny O’Brien corner.
However, Dootson laid the foundations for what was to follow by diving to his right and parrying Atkinson’s spot-kick before claiming the loose ball.
And things got even better for the away side deep into injury-time as two substitutes combined, Green latching onto Martin Grundy’s pass to round the onrushing Atherton and slot home.
Kendal remain fifth in the Evo-Stik League Division One North standings, five points off leaders Curzon Ashton, ahead of Tuesday night’s home clash with Bursocugh.
Cammell Laird: Kevin Atherton, Chris Reilly, Chay Dysart (c), Liam Hollett, Steve Ferrigan, Danny O’Brien, John Couch, Jamie Henders (Sean Breen 90), Jon Atkinson, John Miles (Paul Foy 85), Daley Woods (Jack Webb 79). Subs not used: Mike Young, Paul Parle
Kendal Town: Craig Dootson, Ross Lloyd, Jack Smith, Warren Beattie (Martin Grundy 80), Niall Cowperthwaite, Ricky Mercer, Rob Wilson, Danny Coid (c), Danny Mitchley, Sefton Gonzales (Darren Green 77), Zach Clark (Mike Rushton 63). Subs not used: Adam Freeland, Danny McGahon
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