GEORGE Gudgeon has described his pride in a youthful Kendal Town side who travelled to Radcliffe on Tuesday and ran their table topping hosts very close before slipping to a narrow defeat.

The Mintcakes chairman said the home management team, which is headed by former Preston and Manchester City striker Jon Macken, were hugely complimentary about the visitors, and he said the experience gained by such a young side would be “invaluable” in the future.

“The only think I was disappointed about was the result because I was very pleased with the performance,” said Mr Gudgeon, who was forced to take charge of the side last night after caretaker manager Steve Edmondson was sidelined due to illness.

“I was proud of every single player because they gave everything.”

He said the back four were particularly inexperienced and had been pressed into service due to a spate of injuries, but had been outstanding in keeping promotion chasing Radcliffe at bay, with Town still in with a shout of at least a point until a late strike clinched a 2-0 home win.

And he vowed that his side would continue to battle for every point in their remaining four fixtures despite the threat of relegation being considerably reduced this week when it was confirmed that only one club will be relegated from the Evo-Stik West division this season.

The news, which has been expected for some time, follows Colwyn Bay’s decision to resign from the league, and means that barring a dramatic late revival by bottom placed Skelmersdale, second bottom Town will survive the drop.

They currently have a seven point advantage over the basement boys, and as the Merseysiders have managed just two league wins all season and have just five games remaining, the chances of them catching the Mintcakes, while still not impossible, is clearly a remote one.

However Matt Tummey, secretary of the Kendal Town Independent Supporters’ Club, said while it was clearly good news the club now looked likely to preserve its Evo-Stik League status, there was little cause for celebration.

“We knew this was coming and obviously we are pleased if it means we stay up but it’s still been a disappointing season,” he said.

With the Evo-Stik League transfer deadline having passed, Town will rely on their existing squad for that four game run-in, which begins with Saturday’s trip to Chasetown.