MILNTHORPE Corinthians won the Invitation Trophy after a battling 2-1 win against Appleby on a wet and miserable night at Kendal Town Football Club.

The Cors had to fight all the way after falling behind to a close range effort by Bobby Atkinson, but the turning point in the game came just before half time when Appleby keeper Josh Richardson was shown a straight red card after lashing out at Zac Clark.

The sending off sparked Corinthians into action and they equalised on the stroke of half time through Peter Baxendale, before Mike Rushton's strike midway through the second half proved to be enough for them to retain the trophy.

Appleby made a confident start and created the better of the opportunities as Atkinson forced a double save out of Cors keeper Tom Bush, before Jack Overs' powerful drive from just outside the area was well stopped by the former Kendal Town shot stopper.

Milnthorpe's best early attempt fell to Scott Singleton who blazed the ball over the crossbar. However, Appleby opened the scoring midway through the first half when a clinical ball across the penalty area by Richard Faustino fell to Atkinson who slid the ball home from close range.

The Cors responded and applied a lot of pressure on Appleby’s defence, leading to Singleton unleashing a rasping drive on goal was pushed away by Richardson.

The major talking point came three minutes before half time when Richardson was shown a straight red card after reacting to Clark's attempt to win the ball out of his hands.

Once Richardson had been sent off, Milnthorpe equalised on the stroke of half time as Baxendale's strike was deflected in.

Appleby started the second half on the offensive despite the numerical disadvantage, with Benjamin Jackson heading at the keeper before Overs' curled effort on goal went just over the crossbar.

Milnthorpe created plenty of opportunities with Clark and Baxendale going close before Brandon Croskell-Robinson's angled effort on goal just went over.

Appleby looked dangerous on the break with Crawford and Overs both firing wide of the left hand post. However, Milnthorpe went 2-1 up with 12 minutes left when Rushton drilled the ball home from close range after being left unmarked in the penalty area.

Milnthorpe controlled the closing stages and could have made it 3-1 but for a spurned opportunity by Clark, but they held out to win.