KENDAL Town boss Dave Foster has called on his players to fight for a starting place in his team as the start of the Evo-Stik First Division North draws closer.

With tonight's match against Penrith cancelled, there are now just two games left before Kendal travel to Northwich Victoria seeking the perfect start to their campaign.

And despite only winning one of their five pre-season matches, Foster insists his team will be ready come 3pm on August 16.

“At the end of the day it’s all about that first result so you could lose every single pre-season game and win the first match of the season and it’s job done,” he said.

“I’m pleased with the progress. We are almost there. There have been one or two difficulties with games being called off and having to scuttle around to rearrange fixtures.

“However losing is a habit you don’t want to get into. Of course you would like to win every game in pre-season but we’ve had a decent one without perhaps getting some of the results we should have done.”

Workington Town travel to Parkside Road on Saturday and Foster expects a tough challenge from the Cumbrian outfit.

“Everyone is fighting for a starting shirt now,” he said.

“We are expecting a bit of a performance. It will be a tough game. I think they will be a little more direct than the teams we have played so far so I expect another step up in intensity now.

“Fitness should be there but it’s about trynig to get match fit.

“The players are beginning to understand their roles and will hopefully be making a statement that they should be wearing that shirt in a few weeks time.”

The Mintcakes travelled to Bootle on Saturday and found themselves on the wrong-end of a seven-goal thriller.

The Liverpool-based outfit took the lead but were pegged back by free-scoring Mark Jackson as the teams returned to the changing rooms at half-time with the scores level at 1-1.

The home side re-took the lead shortly after the restart before Jackson bagged his sixth goal of pre-season to restore parity.

Bootle fought back and scored two more before Jack Smith added a late consolation for the Mintcakes.

“It was a bit of an up and down game but was a good workout as I expected it to be.

“There were patches where I thought we controlled the game for long periods but we got punished.

“With the exception of probably their last game they were all mistakes really.”

While impressed with Jackson’s recent goal scoring spree, Foster insists the striker offers much more to the team.

“He’s a bit of goal machine at the moment,” he said. “He has come back and made a concerted effort. He really wants to give it a bash.

“I don’t think he’s ever been prolific but he makes goals too and is a good focal point for the team. He is doing fantastically well and I’m really pleased for him.”