Impressive draw for Kendal at high-flying Marine despite being sunk by late equaliser (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Impressive draw for Kendal at high-flying Marine despite being sunk by late equaliser
Kendal Town 2
Evo-Stik Premier Division
KENDAL Town clung on to an impressive point at high-flying Marine despite being without six first team regulars at the Arriva Stadium.
Although Town will have been disappointed to throw away a two-goal lead, before the game they would have taken a draw considering the injury crisis engulfing the Parkside Road outfit.
The game started with an early scare for Kendal when Marcus Carver hit the bar for the side based in Crosby near Liverpool, but he was judged offside.
In a first 30 minutes where there were no chances for either side, Kendal stuck to their game plan and kept Marine quiet.
The Black and Whites were winning the midfield battle, but up against Matty Brown and Danny Grannon in the Marine defence Kendal couldn’t fashion any clear-cut chances.
But that all changed when Danny Wisdom brought a forward ball down with his chest, and hit a left-footer which swerved and bobbed over Marine goalkeeper Ryan McMahon leaving him with no chance as Town took the lead nine minutes before half time.
Kevin Leadbetter failed where Wisdom succeeded just a couple of minutes later as his effort went wide, but Kendal were reminded of the need to defend properly when Grannon’s header in the box was directed straight at Black and Whites shot-stopper Josh Welsby.
Then Alex Taylor had two glorious opportunities to double Kendal’s advantage just before the half time break.
Firstly he failed to connect to a great cross from Scott Harries with the goal at his mercy, and then when a Town header in the box was blocked the ball fell to the striker two yards out but his effort was cleared off the line.
Marine were starting to get back into the game in the second half but still they failed to threaten Kendal apart from when Paul Alexander’s wayward clearance was only dealt with when Welsby, afraid to pick the ball up in case a passback was given, was fouled by a Marine striker.
The Marine manager had had enough come the 64th minute, and he made a triple substitution to try to get his side back in the game.
But the next goal came Kendal’s way.
Naim El-Harrati, who cut a composed figure making his debut for Town, played an excellent ball for Harries, whose cross was bundled over the line by Taylor to make it 2-0 in the 70th minute.
But a few moments later Marine were right back in it as substitute Nick Rogan went on a mazy run to go past five or six Kendal players, and he slotted the ball beyond Welsby to pull a goal back.
Marine went hell for leather to get the equaliser, Welsby making a hash of a Shaun Dowling effort by only tipping the ball onto the post just moments after the home side’s goal, while Matty Devine’s header went wide shortly after.
An ugly incident in which El-Harrati appreared to dive two-footed into a challenge sparked a scuffle in the 85th minute which wasted some valuable time for the Parkside Road outfit.
Welsby saved well when Rogan was one-on-one with him but the goal was coming and from the resulting corner, John Shaw headed from two yards out with one minute of injury time played.
Kendal were now hanging on just to keep the game at 2-2 and as four minutes of injury time were played out, Town nervously managed to hold on to a precious point.
Josh Welsby, Naim El-Harrati, Danny Wisdom, Paul Alexander, Marc Joseph (c), Simon Wills, Alex Randell, Alex Taylor, Scott Harries, Ian Kilford, Kevin Leadbetter.
Subs: Andrew Graham for Wills (68), Sefton Gonzales for Taylor (83).
Subs not used: Ben Fishwick, Liam Wynn, Tom Newton
Key man: Ian Kilford – Played intelligently in the middle of the park, starting several moves with his neat passing and winning the midfield battle against Marine.
McMahon (c), Dowling, Shaw, M Brown, Grannon, Burton, Fowler (Rogan 64), Goulding, Carver, Rainford (Lundon 64), Ordish (Devine 64).
Subs not used: P Brown, Williams