LETHAL marksman Danny Mitchley headed home a second-half winner as below par Kendal ground out victory against Padiham to extend their winning run to four matches.
The former Altrincham forward netted his 24th goal of the season after the tricky Danny Boyd cancelled out Maison McGeechan’s early opener.
However, the Mintcakes were indebted to keeper Danny MacDonald for a crucial late save as Kendal avenged their defeat at the Arbories back in October – Steve Edmondson’s last game in charge.
The opening chance fell to the visitors on three minutes as John Ross misjudged a forward ball by Luke Greaves, with Boyd crowded out by MacDonald.
Kendal were then forced to reorganise as Danny Coid suffered a suspected hamstring injury as the 32-year-old was replaced on the left of midfield by Colin Watson.
The home side opened the scoring on eight minutes as a speculative Mitchley shot from range was spilled by Storks keeper Sean Davis with McGeechan on-hand to tuck home the rebound.
The former Bolton Wanderers academy player has proved a more than useful foil for Mitchley in recent weeks, with this strike his 15th goal of a productive campaign.
With Dominic Craig in possession, a fortunate rebound freed Boyd after quarter of an hour only for the winger to screw his shot wide of the post.
Midway through the half MacDonald smothered the ball at the feet of striker Michael Morrison after Warren Beattie scuffed a Boyd cross from the right towards his own goal.
Boyd was proving a dangerous opponent and a minute later he outpaced Callum Hoctor to latch onto a Kieron Pickup pass although once again failed to beat MacDonald.
But six minutes before the break Padiham had their equaliser, Boyd the man on the spot to tap home after Craig made inroads into the Kendal penalty area.
The home side were forced into a further change shortly after the break as Michael Stringfellow took the field in place of an unwell Ricky Mercer.
Moments later, a towering Mitchley rose highest to meet a Rob Wilson corner from the right as the striker’s prolific form in front of goal this season continues.
Shortly before the hour mark Davis claimed a curling effort from Mitchley after the striker retrieved a deep cross from McGeechan who had been released down the flank by Craig Carney.
Mitchley was the man most likely to extend the Kendal advantage and lifted an effort over the advancing Davis but wide of the post after sprinting onto a long MacDonald clearance.
After replacing McGeechan after 75 minutes, Jamie Pattison – a recent signing from Holker Old Boys – displayed some neat touches before stinging the palms of Davis.
While only five points above the relegation zone, Padiham still retain relegation concerns and pressed in the latter stages for a share of the spoils.
With seven minutes remaining, Spencer Jordan flicked a header from fellow substitute Paul Fildes’ free-kick which a retreating MacDonald superbly turned away one-handed from underneath his crossbar.
And with seconds left on the clock a dipping volley from Bradley Cookson from outside the box was grasped by McDonald as Kendal chalked up another useful win.
Kendal Town: Danny MacDonald, John Ross, Callum Hoctor, Warren Beattie (c), Ricky Mercer (Michael Stringfellow 49), Jack Smith, Rob Wilson, Danny Coid (Colin Watson 5), Danny Mitchley, Maison McGeechan (Jamie Pattison 75), Craig Carney. Subs not used: George Mason, Oli Mathieson
Padiham: Sean Davis, Ashley Carter, Sam Morris (Paul Fildes 75), Luke Greaves, Jack Overson (c), Dominic Craig, Danny Boyd, Mark Sharples, Michael Morrison, Kieron Pickup, Louis Mayers (Spencer Jordan 75). Subs not used: Marcus Burgess, Chris Turner