Kendal Town 0

Runcorn Linnets 1

A FRUSTRATING afternoon saw Kendal Town slip to a narrow defeat against Runcorn Linnets at a damp ST & B Accountants Stadium on Saturday.

Connor McCarthy's goal 16 minutes into the game proved to be the difference in a hard fought BetVictor League clash on a wet and miserable afternoon which made playing conditions difficult for both teams.

In the week leading up to the game, manager Steve Edmondson had called for his side to cut out the slow starts which have seen them give away early goals to leave themselves mountains to climb.

But he was left disappointed as they conceded early once more, and though a much improved second half performance saw Town go closer to levelling on a number of occasions, it was not to be and the Linnets held on to claim their third consecutive league win.

Runcorn made an imposing start and missed two opportunities within the early exchanges as Liam Caddick flicked the ball onto the cross bar before Paul Shanley fired his effort into the side netting.

But those reprieves for the Mintcakes proved to be short lived as just after the quarter of an hour mark McCarthy drilled the ball past Bacon in the Kendal goal to put the Linnets ahead.

The visitors continued to control the ball while Kendal struggled to retain possession on a heavy pitch, and they began to create more opportunities, most notably when McCarthy worked a nice opening only to see his effort saved by the legs of Bacon.

Kendal were restricted to half chances with Aaron Fleming firing wide from distance before Kieran Maguire, who offered the most threat going forward, saw his tame effort on goal comfortably saved by Michael Emery.

But Edmondson's half time team talk appeared to do the trick as Town improved in the second half.

They were quicker to the ball and causing more of a threat going forward, and Maguire almost set up a great chance for Sean Paterson from close range only for the ball to be cleared away by Runcorn defender Jack Hinnigan.

Maguire also forced a comfortable save from Emery while Fleming's cross into the box was scrambled away from danger as Town battled for the equaliser.

But it was Runcorn who created the better chances with Louis Corrigan’s free kick crashing off the cross bar and Caddick blazing over from close range moments later.

Lewis McKinney was also close to scoring after his cross-cum-shot fell narrowly wide of the post as the Linnets attempted to kill the game off.

However, with one goal separating the sides, Kendal were still in it and deep into stoppage time, they went agonisingly close to grabbing the leveller.

Maguire's cross into the penalty area caught out the visiting defence and substitute Elliot Moore found time and space from close range but was unable to glance his head onto the ball.

Sadly, that proved to be their last chance as the final whistle blew seconds later and Runcorn had held on for the win.

Town hope to get back to winning ways when they make the journey to the North East to take on Dunston on Saturday.

The Gateshead based outfit currently lie 18th in the table, one place below the Mintcakes and one point behind them, but they have a whopping seven games in hand on Town.