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Padiham 2-1 Kendal Town
AWAY form continues to blight Kendal’s season after Ben Allen’s second-half winner gave Padiham victory and consigned the Mintcakes to a third consecutive league defeat on the road.
Allen’s strike midway through the second period secured maximum points for the Storks after Mike Rushton scored his first goal of the season to cancel out Kieron Pickup’s first-half opener.
Steve Edmondson’s side have now accrued only six points from a possible 21 away from home, in contrast to 16 from seven matches at Parkside Road.
There were a couple of changes to the Town line-up from the FA Trophy replay against AFC Fylde with Kendal County goalkeeper Phil King replacing concussion victim Craig Dootson.
Danny Mitchley picked up a late ankle knock against the Coasters and was replaced by Darren Green, with the former Lancaster City forward going close in the opening minute.
A clipped ball forward from Ross Lloyd was chested into the path of Green by Maison McGeechan, with the striker’s effort hacked off the line by full-back Max Jones.
At the mid-point of the half, Zach Clark was forced wide after rounding keeper Ben Proctor only for the stopper to regain his ground and save McGeechan’s goal-bound shot.
Padiham have endured mixed results at this level having been crowned North West Counties Premier Division Champions last season but like their visitors are more potent at home.
And following Kendal’s bright start, Steve Wilkes’ side took the lead on 32 minutes through leading scorer Pickup, who netted his ninth goal of the campaign.
After Martin Grundy headed clear a left-wing cross from Louis Mayers, Pickup produced a sweet curling effort from the edge of the area which gave stand-in keeper King little chance.
Five minutes later the home side came close to doubling their lead, Jack Smith denying the dangerous Allen with a timely tackle after another Mayers centre.
Aside from a couple of deflected Rob Wilson efforts, Kendal were unable to create many chances before half-time as Allen flashed wide at the other end.
Six minutes after the re-start, new recruit Martyn Coleman was given his debut in place of Clark, a move which also prompted a change of system.
And the substitution paid an immediate dividend, Coleman playing in McGeechan down the right of the Padiham penalty area with his cross turned home by Rushton.
Shortly afterwards, Allen headed Pickup’s corner wide of the post before Niall Cowperthwaite was forced off with injury and replaced by leading scorer Mitchley.
This saw further re-organisation as substitute Danny McGahon, Jack Smith and Grundy were temporarily employed as a back three, with Padiham taking full advantage.
Allen, who scored a record-breaking 50 goals during a three-and-half-year scholarship stint with Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, saw a headed finish ruled out for offside before scoring what proved the winner.
With Kendal playing a high defensive line, Allen finished past King on 67 minutes after latching onto a Mayers through ball and taking the ball in his stride.
The away side soon reverted to a back four and went in search of a leveller, Smith missing the target with a header from Mitchley’s cross.
The ex-Blackpool forward succeeding in pepping up the Kendal forward-line and following a foul on the 24-year-old, Green fired the resulting free-kick over the bar with ten minutes remaining.
In the dying seconds, Mitchley’s cross evaded both Danny Coid and Rushton with Kendal left to reflect on a fifth away loss of the season.
Padiham: Ben Proctor, Max Jones (Owen Deakin-Pickard 24), Sam Morris, Martin Parkes (c), Rob Flint, Dom Craig, Ash Carter, Mark Sharples, Ben Allen, Kieron Pickup, Louis Mayers. Subs not used: Danny Bell, Tom Bradley, Steve Cunningham, Marcus Burgess
Kendal Town: Phil King, Ross Lloyd (Danny McGahon 37), Jack Smith, Mike Rushton, Martin Grundy, Niall Cowperthwaite (Danny Mitchley 60), Rob Wilson, Danny Coid (c), Darren Green, Maison McGeechan, Zach Clark (Martyn Coleman 51). Subs not used: Matthew Knipe
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