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Harrogate Railway Athletic 3-1 Kendal Town
THREE goals in as many first-half minutes consigned Kendal to defeat as Maison McGeechan’s late goal was rendered no more than a consolation strike.
Veteran winger Colin Hunter scored twice for Harrogate while Nathan Cartman was also on target, with substitute McGeechan adding some respectability to the scoreline deep into the second period.
There were a couple of changes from the Kendal line-up which started at Lancaster City on Boxing Day, with Colin Watson and Ross Lloyd replacing Kevin Brown and Callum Hoctor.
Kendal had a number of wayward efforts early in the game before Harrogate’s diminutive forward Cartman headed wide after neat build up play on the left flank.
Billy Miller’s side took the lead on 23 minutes, Hunter finding the top corner from the edge of the area after Alex Metcalfe’s deep cross was misjudged by the Kendal backline.
Harrogate double their advantage a minute later, Cartman lifting the ball over the advancing Danny MacDonald after latching onto a through-ball – his tenth goal of the season.
And with 26 minutes on the clock the game was effectively ended as a contest, Hunter making it three from the penalty spot after Rob Youhill was felled in the box.
Sefton Gonzales forced keeper Peter Crook into a low save before the Harrogate stopper took centre stage with a penalty save from the Kendal frontman.
After receiving a yellow card for a foul in the box on Zach Clark, Crook denied Gonzales from the spot – building on his two penalty saves on Boxing Day against Farsley.
A Joel Dixon effort was deflected over as the home side continued to press after the break although Dave Foster’s side rallied in the second-half.
Leading scorer Danny Mitchley and Danny Coid both went close before McGeechan notched his tenth goal of the campaign to reduce the arrears with six minutes remaining.
The former Bolton Wanderers winger unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of Crook’s goal after seeing the keeper off his line.
Kendal Town: Danny MacDonald, Colin Watson, Ross Lloyd, Warren Beattie, Will Bell, Jack Smith, Rob Wilson, Danny Coid (c), Danny Mitchley, Sefton Gonzales, Zach Clark. Subs: Ollie Mathieson, Craig Dootson, Maison McGeechan, John Ross, Mike Rushton
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