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FA Trophy: Kendal Town 3-2 Farsley AFC
DARREN GREEN marked his full home debut with two goals as Kendal sealed a place in the next round of the FA Trophy despite a second-half fightback by Farsley.
The former Lancaster City striker’s first-half double was added to by Jack Smith as goals from Lee Ellington and Marc Thompson in the second period made for a tense finale.
Manager Steve Edmondson reacted to the disappointing defensive performance against Bamber Bridge by employing a change of system and moving to a back three.
Martin Grundy was selected alongside Ricky Mercer and Niall Cowperthwaite while Danny McGahon replaced Ross Lloyd and started in the right wing-back position.
Danny Mitchley was fit enough to return in place of Sefton Gonzales and an early foul on the forward presented the home side with their opening chance of the game.
Green took aim with a central free-kick 25 yards from goal but saw his effort nestle on the roof of the net with visiting keeper Ben Higginson rooted to the spot.
However, the 24-year-old was the man to give the Mintcakes the lead in the 11th minute, latching onto a forward ball from Mercer before rounding the onrushing Higginson and applying a finish.
Moments later Craig Dootson was called into action at the other end, making a low save to deny Farsley skipper Robbie O’Brian before scooping away the rebound.
Ex-Bradford Park Avenue stopper Higginson endured a difficult first-half, exposed for Kendal’s opener and culpable again for their second after 22 minutes.
Jack Smith pursued Grundy’s ball into the box, somehow managing to beat Higginson in the air and head the back towards goal with a simple tap in doubling the hosts’ lead.
And the Parkside Road club were three ahead shortly after the half-hour mark with Green, who spent time at Throstle Nest in their previous incarnation as Farsley Celtic, the man on the spot.
Farsley failed to deal with a dangerous Smith cross from the left with Ryan Serrant only half-clearing and Green having the simple task of firing the loose ball home from six yards.
Kendal’s commanding half-time lead could have been extended shortly before the break with Green wreaking havoc only for Serrant to prevent the ball reaching an advancing McGahon.
The away side were handsomely beaten on their last trip to Cumbria in mid-September but since then had gone three games unbeaten in the league.
And Farsley started the second-half with more purpose and a greater intensity, pulling a goal back on 51 minutes when Ellington stooped to head home Thomson’s centre from the right.
From this moment the Yorkshiremen were largely in the ascendancy for the remainder of the game, having the majority of possession and staking their case for a replay.
Substitute Adam Priestly fired straight at Dootson from the edge of the penalty area before Paddy Miller glanced a Josh Grant corner wide from within the six-yard box.
The arrears were reduced further in the 69th minute, Thompson arriving in between Grundy and Smith at the far post to convert a deep Serrant cross from the left.
Farsley searched in vain for equaliser the final 20 minutes, Thompson failing to overly trouble Dootson as Kendal reverted to a back four to shore things up in the closing stages.
Simeon Bambrook was unable to add a finishing touch to a fizzed cross from Priestley before a succession of late corners were dealt with by Dootson and his defenders.
Kendal held on to set up a trip to Evo-Stik League Premier Division high-flyers AFC Fylde at Kellamergh Park in the FA Trophy First Qualifying Round on Saturday October 19.
Kendal Town: Craig Dootson, Danny McGahon, Jack Smith, Warren Beattie, Ricky Mercer, Niall Cowperthwaite, Rob Wilson, Danny Coid (c), Danny Mitchley, Darren Green (Maison McGeechan 77), Martin Grundy (Colin Watson 73). Subs not used: Zach Clark, Adam Freeland, Sefton Gonzales
Farsley AFC: Ben Higginson, Matt Dempsey, Ryan Serrant, Robbie O’Brian (c), James Riley (Adam Priestley 43), Paddy Miller, Marc Thomson, Matty Young, Lee Ellington, Simeon Bambrook, Josh Grant. Suns not used: Matty James, Mark Jackson, Danny Hull, Tom Morgan
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