Kendal ladies firsts travelled to Harrogate this weekend after a week off thanks to the snow.
Kendal pushed off with the bare eleven, but did not let the absence of the timeless Whalley-Jones duo deter them as they pushed hard from the start and were quickly awarded a penalty corner. Unfortunately the shot from Tyson was closer to the cross bar than it was the floor. Some changes to the greens newly-adopted formation led to Mel Whalley-Jones finding herself with an unexpected first touch of the game, a deflection in the D, which helped Harrogate to open the scoring in the eight minute. Kendal continued to battle on and with Roberta Anderton, Emma Reid and Rebecca Wilson using the full width of the pitch in midfield and the hardworking central pair of Katie Ireland and Vicky Whalley-James they were able to progress the ball down both sides of the pitch. The solid defence of Molly Wilson, Mel Whalley-Jones and Emma Woodburn with the agile Sarah Dodd covering the goal ensured Kendal were consistently able to steal possession from the home team. Forwards Karen Tyson and Bethan Cogger found themselves on the end of many balls delivered from the midfield and were successfully able to penetrate the Harrogate D and earn Kendal several penalty corners. Despite the visitors best efforts, and use of a range of personnel, they were unable to get the ball past the experienced Harrogate keeper.
The score at half-time was 1-0 to Harrogate.
The gusty conditions continued in the second half and sent Kendal into a frenzy. Whilst Celia Powell and Zoe Dempsey made light work of turning the home defence on a six pence and forcing the opposition to defend in numbers, players of the Kendal defence found themselves lacking composure. Woodburn was green-carded after a disagreement with the umpire regarding a shadowing of the ball as it rolled over the back line, and despite Whalley-James’ best efforts to replace her in the defending line up at the penalty corner, the umpire was not willing to permit her entry into the D, leaving Dodd, Wilson, Wilson, and Whalley-Jones less than impressed at having to defend with a player short. Fury ensued as the visitors now found themselves with two goals to chase and the intensity ramped up. Without delay Kendal yet again found themselves back in Harrogate’s D, but they were still unable to convert their chances, with shots going wide or being halted by the keeper. Getting desperate, Reid made a last ditch attempt at a tackle in the middle of the field and after a cross-pitch discussion with the umpire decide it was her time to be replaced. Harrogate capitalised on some of this disarray and were able to add a third to the scoreboard before the match finished. Kendal look forward to receiving Stokesley at their home fortress, where they are sustaining good form this Saturday.