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Radcliffe Borough 1-0 Kendal Town
A STUNNING second-half strike from Elliot Rokka fired Radcliffe Borough to victory and ensured Kendal’s season ended with a whimper at Stainton Park.
Rokka’s intervention secured a fifth win in seven games for Kevin Glendon’s side following a goalless opening period which saw Mintcakes’ keeper Danny MacDonald impressively deny Brad Robinson from the penalty spot.
By failing to add to his tally, former Blackpool striker Danny Mitchley ended the campaign on 26 goals and second in the division’s scoring charts, three behind Ramsbottom United’s Lee Gaskell.
Dave Foster made two changes to his starting line-up with Gary Basterfield and George Mason coming in for the suspended Danny Coid and Jamie Patttinson, with Jack Smith reverting to left-back.
In a quiet opening to the game, Mitchley collected Craig Carney’s pass before firing over while at the other end Radcliffe full-back Danny Lafferty glanced wide an inswinging Sam Grimshaw corner.
The hosts were awarded a spot-kick after 20 minutes as Robinson latched onto David Sherlock’s through-ball only to be felled in the box by MacDonald as he attempted to round the former Clitheroe stopper.
Receiving a yellow card for the infringement, MacDonald made amends by superbly turning away Robinson’s penalty with a strong left-handed save.
Half-chances were all either could muster by the break, the lively Bevan Burey failing to trouble MacDonald with a snap-shot from the edge of the box, while Rokka also shot wide.
As for Kendal, a dangerous Mitchley cross flashed across the face of goal while on the stroke of half-time Warren Beattie headed over a Rob Wilson corner from the left.
The visitors made a double substitution at the break with Kevin Brown and John Ross replacing development squad duo Basterfield and Mason.
The changes saw Brown partner Ricky Mercer in central defence with Ross at right-back, which in-turn meant Beattie was pushed into the Kendal engine room with Colin Watson on the right flank.
And there was a further reshuffle ten minutes later as Oli Mathieson came on for Beattie who left the field after suffering a head injury.
Once play resumed, progressive work from Mike Rushton down the right-hand side of the box allowed him the space to pick out Mitchley only for his bicycle kick to clear the crossbar.
Radcliffe scored what proved to be the winner on 59 minutes, Rokka taking possession and driving forward before unleashing a left-footed drive from 25 yards which sailed into the top corner.
Kendal came close to equalising moments later as Rushton’s defence-splitting pass found Mathieson whose shot across goal narrowly missed Radcliife Keeper Chris Cheetham’s left-hand post.
The only other clear opportunity the visitors created fell to leading scorer Mitchley 15 minutes from time, the 24-year-old firing just past the post after neat control in the box earned him a yard of space.
With time running out, Robinson linked with Burey who failed to trouble MacDonald from range while an inswinging Rushton cross from the left drifted past Cheetham’s far post in the final act of the season.
A disappointing way to end for Kendal, who finish the campaign in tenth place having posted their 20th league defeat of the season and their 13th away from Parkside Road.
Radcliffe Borough: Chris Cheetham, Danny Lafferty, Sam Grimshaw, Mark Ayres, James Mullineux (c), Danny Lambert, David Sherlock (Ibk Mutape 73), Danny White, Bevan Burey, Brad Robinson, Elliot Rokka (Matt Landregan 63). Subs not used: Simon Carden, Curtis Thompson, Ben Manning
Kendal Town: Danny MacDonald, Colin Watson, Jack Smith, Warren Beattie (c) (Oli Mathieson 58), Ricky Mercer, Rob Wilson, George Mason (Kevin Brown 46), Craig Carney, Danny Mitchley, Mike Rushton, Gary Basterfield (John Ross 46). Subs not used: Michael Stringfellow
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