Kendal were looking to stretch their unbeaten league run to five as they welcomed local rivals Kirkby Lonsdale to The Queen Katherine School this weekend.
Starting quickly Kendal took control of the ball and began to build play from the back. The visitors had pace and youth in spades and chased down every loose ball. Thankfully for Kendal, the home side’s passing game was strong and before long the hosts were able to penetrate the Kirkby back line. Mark Addison was running the show in midfield. His endless running was stifling any attempt the visiting team made to build their own attacks.
Finally, Kendal broke through. The ball bounced around the Kirkby Lonsdale D like a pinball, the Kirkby keeper and defenders made several desperate saves before Noah Ross took his opportunity to swipe the ball home for Kendal’s first goal.
Half time – Kendal 1 – 0 Kirkby Lonsdale.
Kendal were enjoying themselves at the start of the second half and were playing some free-flowing hockey. Aaron Screen released John Stanworth down the line. Stanworth found Steven Olliver and the two played a mesmerising one-two before Olliver buried the ball just inside the near post. 2 – 0 to The Greens.
Kendal’s third came from quick thinking play that beautifully linked defence to midfield to attack. Simon Millington was fouled as he was driving out of the Kendal defence. Millington wasted no time. He spotted the ball and passed it from one side of the pitch to the other finding an unmarked Phil Conlin. Conlin had pre-scanned and sent a first time pass into the path of Noah Ross. Ross took one touch to control the pass and needed only a second to unleash a devastating strike into the corner of the goal to complete his man of the match performance.
Kendal then earned themselves a penalty corner. Nick Davis’ perfect injection was fast and accurate, Phil Conlin’s stop was simple and precise and Simon Millington’s sublime drag-flick to the top corner was unsavable. 4 – 0.
Kirkby Lonsdale refused to give up on the game though and continued to push Kendal to the final whistle. They had a great chance to earn to a goal back in the dying seconds of the game. Unfortunately for them, they had reckoned without Gordon “the great wall of Kendal’ Blunt. Blunt kept Rob Cartwright’s and Kendal’s clean sheet intact with an unbelievable, diving last ditch save when everyone else was convinced the visitors surely had to score.
Final score- Kendal Men’s 1s 4 – 0 Kirkby Lonsdale Men’s 1s.
Kendal hope to keep their top form going as they travel to Rochdale next weekend for what is always an interesting fixture.