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Late comeback thwarts Dave Foster's side: Wakefield 3-3 Kendal Town
SUBSTITUTE Joe Turfrey scored a last-gasp equaliser to complete a staggering late comeback and secure a priceless point for Wakefield in their battle against the drop.
Danny Coid added to first-half strikes from Warren Beattie and Will Bell as Kendal surged into a three-goal lead shortly after the break.
However, the tide turned in the latter stages of the game with Lee Turner, Robert Bordman – who missed a penalty with the scoreline goalless – and Turfrey ensuring honours ended even.
John Ross and Callum Hoctor were both restored to the Kendal line-up at right and left-back respectively while Maison McGeechan and Colin Watson occupied wide midfield positions.
And there was a new role for Coid, deployed in a more advanced position giving support to frontman Danny Mitchley.
After only seven minutes Wakefield were handed the perfect opportunity to draw first blood after Kendal keeper Danny MacDonald needlessly felled Turner in the penalty area.
The midfielder was heading away from goal after collecting a cross-field pass from left-back Josh McClean, however Boardman blazed his spot-kick high over the bar.
Within a minute Kendal took full advantage as Mitchley’s strong run and cross was only cleared as far as Beattie who swept home left-footed from 12 yards.
Five minutes later, with the visitors now in the ascendancy, Mitchley found himself in the clear after turning Wakefield centre-half Ryan Donoghue only to be denied by Neil Bennett.
The Bears stopper was powerless to prevent Dave Foster’s side doubling their lead midway through the half, Bell finding space to head home a Rob Wilson corner unchallenged.
The away suffered a blow on the half-hour mark as top scorer Mitchley, feeling tightness in his hamstring, was replaced by Sefton Gonzales.
While Kendal continued to look dangerous in attack, Wakefield rallied with Bordman forcing MacDonald into action after wriggling clear of the attentions of Bell and Jack Smith.
And on the stroke of half-time, Ross was required to make a stretching clearance at the far post ahead of a lurking Luke Durham as Town held a comfortable half-time lead.
In the opening stages of the second period, MacDonald turned Bordman’s instinctive volley around the post before Kendal exposed Wakefield’s high line to extend their lead.
Three minutes after the re-start, a Gonzales flick from MacDonald’s goal-kick allowed Coid a free run on goal, slotting past Bennett with ease.
After a spate of bookings for the home side, Gonzales headed a Wilson free-kick wide before the former Lancaster City midfielder laid on a chance for McGeechan on 65 minutes.
Clear on goal, McGeechan was thwarted by the legs of Bennett, with the keeper denying the same player moments later as he turned a swerving effort behind for a corner.
In the 72nd minute, almost out of nothing, Turner sent a dipping volley from the edge of the box over MacDonald to give Wakefield a foothold in the game.
But there was still no real hint of what was to come in the final stages although another long-range Turner effort was palmed behind by a scrambling MacDonald.
With three minutes left on the clock the comeback was ignited as a poor MacDonald clearance from a backpass allowed Bordman to clip a shot over the stranded keeper.
Despite playing in a struggling team this was the forward’s 17th strike of the season, with his goals surely crucial if Wakefield are to avoid the drop this year.
With Kendal no longer offering much in attack, the equaliser came deep into stoppage time after a pass to the left of the box and hesitancy in the Kendal backline.
Turfrey took a touch before firing across MacDonald into the far corner despite the attentions of Ross and Bell, with Kendal left to rue two dropped points.
With a share of the spoils, Wakefield clamber out of the league’s drop-zone while only Clitheroe from teams in the top half have accumulated less points on the road than Kendal.
Wakefield: Neil Bennett, Tom Marsden, Josh McClean (Ferdinand Annor 67), Chris Hitchings, Ryan Donoghue, Jason Mycoe (c), Lee Turner, Jamie Allsop (Harrison Blakey 57), Robert Bordman, Adam Hayton (Joe Turfrey 66), Luke Durham. Subs not used: Franck Zalo, Ryan Grant
Kendal Town: Danny MacDonald, John Ross, Callum Hoctor, Warren Beattie (c), Will Bell, Jack Smith, Rob Wilson, Danny Coid, Danny Mitchley (Sefton Gonzales 30), Maison McGeechan (Zach Clark 78), Colin Watson (Mike Rushton 52). Subs not used: Ross Lloyd, Michael Stringfellow
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