Kendal Town vs BAMBER BRIDGE Saturday 23 August, 3.00pm kick off
Evo-Stik

Report: Stafford Rangers Vs Kendal Town

Kendal Town earn sweet revenge for early season home defeat by netting twice to take all three points away at Stafford Rangers..

Report: Stafford Rangers Vs Kendal Town

Saturday 3rd December 2011

Kendal Town earn sweet revenge for early season home defeat by netting twice to take all three points away at Stafford Rangers..

[Match Report by Brett Munslow]

Kendal Town earned a sweet revenge over Evo-Stik Premier League rivals Stafford Rangers by defeating the Boro by 2-1, in an exciting game filled with controversy and incident.

It was a fast start by the visitors as Town came agonisingly close to taking an early lead when Kevin Leadbetter's rasping drive narrowly eluded the corner of the Rangers goal.

Moments later stand-in left back Danny Williams scampered free into the 18-yard box after an excellent passing combination between forward pairing Peter Wright and Jordan Connerton had released the pacey wideman. His cross into the box was intercepted at the near post with the unmarked Wright waiting to prod home immediately behind.

From the resulting goal kick Stafford worked the ball up the right wing to the dangerous Kevin Street who was felled by Kendal winger Kevin Leadbetter; the cautioned Town man appearing to jar his knee in the challenge forcing Kendal Manager Lee Ashcroft into an early change. Without a winger on the bench forward Mark Jackson replaced Leadbetter.

Midway through the first-half came the first of multiple major talking points in the game, as whilst awaiting the taking of a Rangers corner, Kendal Captain Marc Joseph was involved in an altercation with Stafford Rangers defender Karl Espley. Joseph clearly appeared to be provoked by the Rangers man before reacting and a scuffle ensued. The referee booked both players for their part in proceedings.

To further outrage the home fans, it was to be Joseph who gave Kendal Town the lead in the 39th minute. The excellent Ciaran Donnelly's corner eluded all-comers before the Antigua & Barbuda International powered home a bullet header straight into the back of the Ranger's goal to give Town a richly deserved 1-0 lead at the interval. 

Kendal Town started the second half with the vervour and tenacity with which they ended the first and they were almost rewarded in only the second minute of the half as Kendal midfielder Ashley Dunn harried his opponent into releasing the ball and he proceeded to force a through-ball through to Connerton who could only put his effort into the side netting.

The attacking was relentless in the early exchanges of the second-half from the visitors and Town had a second-goal from Ciaran Donnelly harshly ruled out for an apparent push on a Stafford defender. Substitute Mark Jackson released Danny Williams down the left flank who squared for Donnelly to neatly fire home, before the referee noted the linesman ruling out the finish after appearing initially to allow it.

 It was soon to be the turn of the visitors to feel further outrage, as Stafford moved the ball up the right-wing for a cross into the box, the intended recipient of the cross was clearly in an offside position and the linesman correctly flagged for an offside. However after the referee had allowed play to continue Kendal Captain Marc Joseph prodded the ball into his own goal. Despite lengthy remonstrations from the Kendal Captain the referee and linesman incredulously allowed the goal to stand and Stafford had their equaliser.

 This prompted a resurgence among the home fans as the groundswell of support in the ground began to encourage the side forward and it wasn't long before Kendal keeper Craig Dootson was called into action to save well at his near-post from a drive from Stafford substitute Liam Shotton. The same player forcing Dootson into a neat catch moments later after Kendal had failed to clear the danger from the resulting corner.

It was to be Kendal who had the last laugh however as Kendal right wing-back Kieran Walmsley performed a neat exchange with Ciaran Donnelly to release the wideman down Stafford's left flank. Donnelly delivered a dangerous cross over the head of the on-rushing Peter Wright straight into the path of Jordan Connerton at the back post. Connerton's attempted header was deflected into the back of the Stafford goal by the luckless Karl Epsley, who could have done little to prevent an unfortunate own-goal. 

Connerton could have etched his name on the scoresheet with seconds remaining as he had a clear run on goal by a long-ball from Kieran Walmsley after neat work by Danny Wisdom and Ashley Dunn in the centre. Connerton wasn't able to connect cleanly with his effort which glanced off the top of the bar and out of play.

After an extra-time three-minute period that seemed like an eternity to play out, the visitors held strong to come away with an invaluable away three points and a dose of sweet revenge for their efforts.

Attendance: 433

Kendal Town Team: 1) C Dootson, 2) K Walmsley, 3) D Williams, 4) S Gray, 5) M Joseph (C), 6) D Wisdom, 7) C Donnelly, 8) J Connerton, 9) P Wright, 10) A Dunn, 11) K Leadbetter (M Jackson).

KENDAL STARMAN: Ashley Dunn - Perhaps unfair to single out one player after such a magnificent team display, but the central midfielder controlled the midfield from start to finish, providing several crucial tackles and relentlessly harrying and pressuring the opposition.

Peter George Banks
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