BEN Hodgkinson’s first half hat trick condemned Kendal Town to a heavy defeat by Widnes at The St and B Accountants Stadium.

Kendal are now in the relegation zone after an abject display which saw them 3-0 down at the break before goals by George Lomax and Dale Korie Butler made matters worse.

Mark Buchan’s late 30 yard strike was scant consolation for the home side on an awful afternoon which drew a sparse crowd of only 66.

Town went into the game without Burnley loanees Bobby Thomas and Kian Yari, while Gavin Clark and Brad Carroll were both suspended, and Widnes were 1-0 up after just three minutes when Hodgkinson cut inside and placed his shot into the bottom left hand corner of the Stuart Dixon’s net.

Kendal battled without being able to create any real opportunity, with Kyle Sambor’s overhead kick – comfortably saved by Richard Mottram in the Widnes goal– the only effort of note

Two goals in the final three minutes of the opening half saw Kendal 3-0 down at the break – with a good pass by Rhian Helliwell setting up Hodgkinson for his second and the third coming from close range following a defensive mix-up.

Kendal were positive at the start of the second half as Sambor fired over from close range and Dan Shearwood shot just wide.

But Widnes made it 4-0 on 73 minutes when Lomax drilled the ball into the net before Butler took his chance to ease Widnes into a 5-0 lead.

Kendal’s late consolation came when Mark Buchan’s 30 yard effort nestled in the top corner of the net but the game was already well over as a contest.

Kendal now sit in the relegation zone, two points behind Glossop North End, as they prepare to travel to play basement boys Skelmersdale United on Saturday in a crucial game for Kendal as they look to pick up points in the quest for Evostik League survival.

n Town line-up: Stuart Dixon, Danny McGahon, Matthew Clarke, Billy Akrigg, Stuart McDonald, Jacob Davies, Mark Buchan, Martin Grundy, Kyle Sambor, Scott Harries, Steve Yawson. Subs: Max Brown, Dan Shearwood, Ben Thomas.

Final Score: Kendal Town 1 v Widnes 5