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Farsley AFC 1-2 Kendal Town
CALLUM HOCTOR slotted home his first goal of the season in Kendal colours as the Mintcakes completed an impressive league double over play-off hopefuls Farsley.
Having re-joined the club from Prescot Cables in December, Hoctor added to Danny Mitchley’s first-half opener before substitute Danny Hull prompted a tense finale as the hosts relinquished their 14-game unbeaten record.
Dave Foster made two changes to his starting line-up from the previous week’s defeat against Bamber Bridge with Craig Carney – a recent signing from Squires Gate – replacing Rob Wilson in midfield.
Hoctor was preferred to Mike Rushton and slotted in at left-back, a move which saw Jack Smith pushed further forward and onto the right flank.
Kendal recorded two victories over Farsley in the space of a month earlier in the season, with FA Trophy success following a league mauling, although Farlsey are one of division’s form teams of late.
In contrast, the visitors had endured a seven-game winless run although enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening period without overly testing Farsley keeper Tom Morgan.
With only three away wins all season, Hoctor’s early snap-shot drifted wide while Mitchley and Danny Coid fired tamely at Morgan with shots from range.
Midway through the half, Josh Grant’s corner was headed narrowly wide by Farsley skipper Robbie O’Brien while Matty Young’s volley from the edge of the box crashed past the upright.
After Villagers’ right-back Aaron Hardy flashed an effort across Danny MacDonald’s goalmouth, Kendal countered and took the lead in the final minute of the half.
Having engineered space on the left, Maison McGeechan picked out former Altrincham striker Mitchley who hammered home his 22nd goal of the season at the second attempt.
In a more open second-half, the prolific Mitchley failed to convert a McGeechan flick while Smith volleyed wide at the far post following a dangerous left-wing cross.
The Throstle Nest side improved after the break and increased the pressure on Kendal, whose last away victory came at bottom of the table Ossett Albion in December.
On 63 minutes MacDonald produced an excellent low save to deny an unmarked Lee Ellington, with his downward header from inside the six-yard box clawed away by the former Lancaster City stopper.
And Farsley were made to pay as Kendal doubled their lead with quarter of an hour remaining, Hoctor calmly steering home the rebound after Mitchley was thwarted by Morgan.
11 wins from their last 14 matches means Farsley are firmly positioned in the play-off race, although Neil Parsley’s side have played more games than any of their direct rivals.
With points at a premium, the home side rallied and halved the deficit on 83 minutes as Hull’s cross evaded defenders and attackers alike to float into the far corner.
In the latter stages, Young’s half-volley fizzed narrowly over as Kendal played out six minutes of stoppage time to record only their fourth away victory this season.
While Farsley will look to reignite their promotion push during a heavy-weight tussle at Warrington Town this weekend, Kendal face Salford City at Parkside Road with end of season momentum the aim.
Farsley AFC: Tom Morgan, Aaron Hardy, Ryan Serrant, Ross Daly (Danny Hull 64), Matthew Dempsey, Henry Owen, Robbie O’Brien (c), Matty Young, Lee Ellington, Aiden Savoury, Josh Grant (Matty James 75). Subs not used: Tom Taylor, Simeon Bambrook, Jarrod Smalley
Kendal Town: Danny MacDonald, John Ross, Callum Hoctor (Mike Rushton 87), Warren Beattie, Ricky Mercer, Kevin Brown, Craig Carney, Danny Coid, Danny Mitchley, Maison McGeechan, Jack Smith. Subs not used: Ollie Mathieson, Colin Watson, Rob Wilson
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