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Kendal Town 2-2 Cammell Laird
FOR the second match in succession Kendal failed to take maximum points despite building a commanding lead as debutant Phil Mooney scored a stoppage time leveller for Cammell Laird.
After a goalless first-half, Maison McGeechan scored twice in quick succession before Freddie Potter’s spot-kick reduced the arrears and Mooney’s last-gasp equaliser.
Dave Foster tinkered with his side as Kevin Brown came in at centre-half which meant Jack Smith reverted to his more accustomed left-back role.
Ricky Mercer returned in a midfield role with Callum Hoctor on the left flank and McGeechan through the middle – Danny Mitchley was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The opening chance fell to the home side on three minutes, Lairds keeper Michael Langley tipping over Colin Watson’s header from Danny Coid’s cross from the left.
In the tenth minute, McGeechan found himself in the clear after sprinting onto Watson’s forward ball only for his half-volley to be turned away by Langley.
After Kendal’s solid start, Lairds worked their way back into the game with the lively Craig Cairns drawing a save from Danny MacDonald after exploiting space down the right.
McGeechan’s pace was causing problems to the visitors’ backline, with the 22-year-old’s bright play creating a presentable opportunity shortly before the half-hour mark.
The former Bolton Wanderers academy player pestered Lairds’ centre-half Liam Hollet, regaining possession for Coid whose left-footed effort was smothered behind by Langley.
Cairns and Joe Evans both had shots which lacked the necessary power to trouble MacDonald in the latter stages of the opening period as the first-half ended goalless.
After a quiet opening to the second period, McGeechan was once again the man who looked the most likely to break the deadlock.
On 53 minutes, Watson found McGeechan after a neat touch by Coid with the frontman shooting wide after skilfully flicking the ball over the covering defender.
Shortly afterwards, Hoctor robbed Hollet on the left and crossed for an unmarked McGeechan whose right-footed volley was palmed over by Langley.
At the other end, Mooney – a recent recruit from Stafford Rangers – saw a header grasped by MacDonald before rifling over following a drilled cross from Jay Foley.
The deadlock was finally broken on 65 minutes as Coid’s defence-splitting pass freed McGeechan who coolly slid the ball beyond Langley.
And two minutes later the home side extended their lead as McGeechan doubled his tally for the afternoon and took his total for the season to 12 in all competitions.
The ex-Ambleside United forward latched onto a John Ross pass down the right-hand side of the penalty area before angling a powerful drive across Langley into the top corner.
Kendal lost a three-goal lead in the final quarter of the game at Wakefield seven days previously and with 71 minutes on the clock, Tony Sullivan’s side halved the deficit with a contentious penalty.
Cairns was in the clear and bearing down on goal when he was adjudged to have been brought down by Smith, despite the full-back appearing to play the ball.
Having given the penalty the referee chose not to issue a red card despite Smith being the last man as Potter sent MacDonald the wrong way with his spot-kick.
Ironically, Lairds then had two penalty claims waved away which were arguably better shouts than the one given.
By this stage Kendal were offering little in attack as the visitors searched for an equaliser, substitute Jamie Henders squaring for Cairns to side-foot wide with five minutes remaining.
Deep into injury time, Evans floated a free-kick into the box, Macdonald came but failed to collect with Mooney stabbing home following a rather hashed effort by Hollet.
Kendal have lost only once in their last six games but find themselves ten points outside the play-off places in ninth, with all teams above them having games in hand.
Kendal Town: Danny MacDonald, John Ross, Jack Smith, Warren Beattie (c), Will Bell, Kevin Brown, Ricky Mercer, Danny Coid (Rob Wilson 87), Maison McGeechan, Callum Hoctor, Colin Watson (Mike Rushton 82). Subs not used: Ollie Mathieson, Michael Stringfellow
Cammell Laird: Michael Langley, Freddie Potter, Paul Parle, Liam Hollet, Chay Dysart(c), Daniel O’Brian (Paul Carney 90), Jay Foley (Jamie Henders 72), Joe Evans, Craig Cairns, Phil Mooney, Ritchie Foulkes. Subs not used: Paul Lundon, Jamie Speare.
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