A DOUBLE from prolific forward Callum Rayner laid the foundations for Askam United‘s victory at Kendal County – extending their lead at the summit of West Lancashire Football League Division Two.
The home side started brightly and took a fifth minute when Joe Baker evaded the visiting defence to slot past keeper Phil Ross – his 11th goal of the campaign.
Ben Shirley’s side replied on ten minutes, Andy Higginson forcing the ball home after County failed to clear their lines following a corner.
Kendal regained the lead on the half-hour mark, Chris Vincent finishing well although this advantage was only short-lived as Rayner picked out Ryan Brown to slot home.
The hosts started the second period on the front foot, taking the lead for a third time through Jordan Knowles following good play on the left flank.
Askam’s Jordan Rayner and Kris McLean were proving tricky customers and Rayner’s free-kick from the edge of the area once again brought the scores level with 20 minutes remaining.
With both sides eyeing a winner, Kyle Jefferson was felled in the box by James Williams with Rayner converting the subsequent penalty – his 26th strike of the season.
This crucial win extends Askam’s lead at the top of the table to seven points, with County 14 points behind in fourth with two games in hand.
Askam took full advantage of second-placed GSK Ulverston Rangers’ slip-up against Todmorden Borough – only their second defeat on home soil this season.
Matt Lawlor scored for the hosts while strikes from Dave Patrick and Elliott Gilford secured a 2-1 win for eighth-placed Todmorden.
Ambleside United crashed out the West Lancashire Football League President’s Cup at the first round stage, losing 4-1 at Hillard Park to Hurst Green.
Tom Bartlett scored twice for the East Lancashire side with Chris Cookson and Chris Byrne also on target, as Jack Bradley replied for the home side.
In Division One, Chris Lowe and Joe Bradbury did the damage in front of goal as Furness Rovers saw off Hawcoat Park, while the clash between Dalton United and Hesketh Bank was postponed.
The Division Two fixture between Croston Sports and Furness Cavaliers was also called off, as was the Premier Division game between Slyne with Hest and Tempest United.