JACK SMITH headed a second-half equaliser to stretch Kendal’s unbeaten run to four matches as the Boxing Day derby clash at Lancaster’s Giant Axe ended level.

All the goals came after the break with Jordan Connerton and Garry Hunter cancelling out Danny Mitchley’s opener before Smith’s intervention ensured a share of the spoils.

Sefton Gonzales was restored to the Kendal line-up in place of the unavailable Maison McGeechan while Warren Beattie replaced Mike Rushton as Rob Wilson switched to the right flank.

With the Dolly Blues suffering just one home defeat so far this season, only Curzon Ashton have a better record on their own ground than Darren Peacock’s outfit.

And after Danny Mitchley had an early sight of goal, Lancaster enjoyed a spell of pressure although Town held firm and worked their way back into the game.

A Danny Coid drive from the edge of the area was deflected wide while midway through the half Mitchley glanced Wilson’s free-kick narrowly past the post.

Shortly afterwards, Ryan Winder was released down the Lancaster right with his low centre only just evading the onrushing Tom Kilifin in the six-yard box.

Coid’s effort from 20 yards forced Lancaster keeper Mike Hale into a low to save on the half-hour mark with Zach Clark unable to force the rebound home.

Mitchley sent a volley from Gonzales’ flick over before missing the target in the final stages of the half after Connerton could only fire straight at Danny MacDonald at the other end.

After a goalless first-half, Kendal took the lead within the opening minute of the second period through Mitchley – his 20th strike of a productive campaign.

Coid and Gonzales combined to release the former Blackpool forward who found the far corner of net with a curling effort past Hale.

However, the lead was only short-lived as Lancaster responded within a minute through Connerton, who started the season with six goals in five matches at Parkside Road.

Centre-half Glenn Steel remained in an attacking position after a Lancaster set-piece and squared for Connerton to flash a right-footed shot past MacDonald to restore parity.

And with the hosts now in the ascendancy, Lancaster led for the first time in the game on 54 minutes following a foul by MacDonald on Connerton.

The frontman raced onto Steel’s through-ball only to be felled as he looked to round MacDonald – one of a number of players facing their former club.

While the rebound was put into an empty net by Mark Jackson, the referee brought play back for a free-kick, with the Kendal stopper perhaps fortunate to only receive a yellow card.

Hunter, who had a fine game in central midfield for Lancaster, curled the resulting free-kick over the wall and beyond MacDonald’s dive to give his side the lead.

Two minutes later Kendal had strong claims for a penalty waved away as Mitchely appeared to be hauled down by Steel after latching onto Jack Smith’s pass.

Shortly after the hour mark MacDonald was called upon to maintain Kendal’s interest in the match, saving from Connerton who was in the clear after latching onto Jackson’s flick.

The visitors continued to engineer openings and after Gavin Clark’s foul on Mitchley, Coid saw his free-kick tipped over by Hale.

From the resulting Wilson corner, Smith – now playing at centre-half following the withdrawal of Kevin Brown – headed home to draw his side level on 76 minutes.

Kendal looked the more likely to force a winner in the final stages, Coid dragging a late effort wide but in the end two evenly matched teams had to settle for a point.

Lancaster City: Mike Hale, Rob Henry, Ryan Elderton (c), Glenn Steel, Gavin Clark, Garry Hunter, Ryan Winder, Simon Wills, Jordan Connerton, Mark Jackson (Simon Wearing 84), Tom Kilifin. Subs not used: Billy Akrigg, Robert Walker, Josh Donnelly, Jordan Millar

Kendal Town: Danny MacDonald, Jack Smith, Callum Hoctor, Warren Beattie, Will Bell, Kevin Brown (Ross Lloyd 76), Rob Wilson, Danny Coid (c), Danny Mitchley, Sefton Gonzales (Mike Rushton 79), Zach Clark (Colin Watson 73). Subs not used: Ollie Mathieson, Craig Dootson

Attendance: 297