Kendal travelled to third in the league Formby last weekend with a positive attitude, but a severely reduced squad.
With just a bare-bones team of eleven men Kendal were immediately under pressure from a strong home side with a full squad of sixteen players. The visitors weathered the early storm however, and within ten minutes of the start they began to gain a foothold in the game. Kendal’s defensive quartet of Mason Croskell, Jared Elshaw, Ollie Hayton and Phil Conlin were communicating well, dishing the ball around the back and effectively soaking up all the Formby attacks. As the half continued The Greens were more and more in control of the game and began to craft themselves multiple opportunities to score. Harry Denney and Tyson Barclay started to boss the midfield and with Fraser Donaldson and Alex Tarney repeatedly bombing down their respective wings it was clearly Kendal who were the dominant team. As half time drew near Steve Barclay showed his class as he effortlessly whipped the ball into the top left of the Formby goal from a penalty corner to give Kendal the lead.
Half time- Formby 0 – 1 Kendal.
The second half started with Kendal still on top and working hard, but with a more disciplined Formby building themselves back into contention. Twenty minutes in and the hosts earned a penalty corner and unfortunately for Kendal the ball was slammed into their goal leaving James Taylor no chance to make the save. The Green’s response was immediate. Shipping the ball around with pacey accuracy the visitors poured forward. Sam Weeks drove down the left and danced around his marker before moving the ball on into the danger zone. It was then played into the Formby D for man of the match Steve Barclay to score what must be a contender for goal of the season. Running at full speed and diagonally away from the goal toward the base-line, Barclay was aware enough to see the keeper step off his line to cover the expected cross. Needing no further invitation and without breaking stride Barclay venomously struck the ball first time, one-handed to send it thundering into the far side of the goal from what should have been an impossible angle. If the full time whistle had blown then it would have been a deserved and unexpected away win for Kendal and a match to celebrate. It did not. Unfortunately for The Greens, their efforts began to take their toll. With seemingly endless fresh legs Formby swarmed forward time and time again and the last ten minutes saw the hosts score three goals as the Kendal eleven ran out of steam. It was a brave effort with some quality hockey played and despite the loss Kendal look forward to this weekends fixture against second in the league Ormskirk with optimism.
Final score- Formby Men’s 4s 4 – 2 Kendal Men’s 2s.