DAVE Foster was proud of his team’s attitude after Kendal Town played more than 80 minutes with just nine men in a nightmare Bank Holiday away trip to one of the league’s title favourites Darlington 1883.
Striker Mark Jackson was given his marching orders for dissent after just six minutes before centre-half Rory Winters joined him when he hauled down Quaker’s striker Liam Hatch as he beared down on goal.
Boss Foster switched to a 4-3-1 formation and Kendal resisted until the 40th minute before the floodgates opened in the second 45 minutes.
And while bemoaning some of the refereeing decisions, Foster was keen to highlight his team’s work ethic.
“We were full of confidence going there and unfortunately having two players sent off before ten minutes made it an impossible afternoon for us,” he said.
“I thought the response of the players after that was excellent and I couldn’t fault their effort.
“I thought we caused them problems with two less players and played with a game plan we had to amend. Defensively, even though we conceded seven, I thought we were excellent for large chunks of the game.
"Everyone put a shift in - it could have easily been more and we could have given up but we stuck at it and ran ourselves into the ground so I was really delighted with the response.
“We were playing against one of the favourites and will put it down to a bad day at the office and move on.
“If we play with that grit and discipline and have 11 players on the pitch we will win most of our games this year.
“The fact we got to 40 minutes and Darlington didn’t create many chances was testament to the lads. We narrowed right in and allowed them to have the ball wide and said: ‘Cross it in and we will deal with it.’
He added: “Mark has obviously said something to the referee that is not acceptable and we will deal with him internally. He is an experienced lad and will learn his lesson from that I am sure.
“With Rory’s red card it is difficult to see whether he gets any contact. The main issue I had with it was in the build up.
“Lydon (Hodgkiss) has gone to clear the ball and you can clearly see their player has handled the ball which has ricocheted to Rory and he has got caught on the ball and brought him down.
“I’m not sure about either of the penalties. For me the first was two yards outside the box and the other you’ll be giving 20 penalties a game if they are given.”
Kendal travel to Newcastle Benfield on Saturday in the FA Cup Preliminary round with Foster expecting a tough game.
“Everyone gets excited about the FA Cup,” he said. “It won’t be an easy game but it is one that we look forward to. It will be good to go on a cup run so we will go there positively looking for a result.”