Kendal Town 3 Ilkeston FC 2
An injury-time penalty denied Ilkeston a point on their travels for the second time in a month as struggling Kendal claimed a crucial win on Saturday.
Danny Mitchley’s winner echoed the fate which befell the Robins in the 3-2 loss at Blyth in March, and ended a run of 14 straight defeats for the home side.
But Ilkeston ultimately only had themselves to blame with a comfortable half-time lead not built upon, though the performance of two-goal debutant Danny Gordon was of some consolation to them.
The Robins have little left to play for in league terms but they dominated possession in the first-half, albeit without being particularly deadly in the final third.
Matt Richards’ early effort straight at keeper Damian Clifton was all either side had to offer until Mitchley fired wide on 20 minutes, Ilkeston’s Laurie Wilson headed at Clifton moments later and then Gary Ricketts shot over the top.
Chris Martin was then equal to another Mitchley effort as his low shot was well held, before the Robins took the lead on the half-hour mark.
A ball into the penalty area was well held up by Ricketts, and he fed Gordon on the edge of the box who placed a left-footed effort with perfection off the inside of the post and into the net.
Kane Richards then nearly made it two just before the break but could only fire wide from an angle after racing clear.
The second-half saw Kendal appear with plenty of fire in their bellies and the game became a much more even contest.
And after Ilkeston’s James Reid had put a good chance over the top early in proceedings, the equaliser came on 51 minutes when a long ball from the back by Adam Freeland sailed over everyone and into the path of Maison McGeechan who ran on to finish well past Martin.
Reiss Lee headed a corner over the bar moments later for the hosts, but Ilkeston were to regain the lead on 59 when Reid’s corner directly to Gordon saw the young midfielder once again find the net from the edge of the penalty area.
But mistakes and carelessness would then plague the Robins as Kendal fought for their lives.
They levelled again on 78 minutes when Reid’s backheel in the Kendal half went wrong, the hosts broke forward and Mitchley ran on to go around Martin and score past Ellis Storey on the goal line.
And after Mitchley had a solid-looking penalty appeal turned down and then forced Martin into another good save, he won the game in injury-time as Ilkeston again lost possession, Kendal again broke clear, and Mitchley was fouled by Joe Maguire before picking himself up to net the winner.
There seemed mimimal contact from Maguire for the foul, but it was hard to argue against Kendal deserving that element of luck as they claimed a hard-earned three points in their quest for survival.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Kendal: 1 Damian Clifton 2 Dean Overson 3 Jamie Hastings 4 Martin Grundy 5 Reiss Lee 6 Adam Freeland 7 Mike Rushton (c) 8 Corry Vickers (Jack Cook 79) 9 Danny Mitchley 10 Maison McGeechan 11 Zach Clark (Aaron Taylor 88). Subs not used: Simon Rawnsley, Callum Hoctor, Rob Wilson
Scorers: McGeechan 51, Mitchley 78, 90+1pen
Ilkeston: 1 Chris Martin 2 Rob Kozluk 3 Ryan Wilson 4 Laurie Wilson (c) 5 Joe Maguire 6 Ellis Storey 7 James Reid 8 Danny Gordon 9 Gary Ricketts (Antwan Russell 82) 10 Kane Richards 11 Matt Richards (Kieran O’Connell 67) Subs not used: James Cullingworth, Russell Cooke, Russell Peel
Scorer: Gordon 30, 59
Att: 188 Ref: Kevin Mulraine
Star Robin: Danny Gordon
by Mark Duffy