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United's trip to Kendal is a piece of cake

FC United went to promotion rivals Kendal Town and swaggered back down the M6 with all three points as first half goals from Jerome Wright and Simon Carden were enough to claim a victory that puts the Reds back in the place off places.

Substitute Michael Cole did fire home a penalty with 25 minutes to go to set up a tense finale but Sam Ashton was never really troubled and the men from Manchester saw out the 2-1 score line in front of 1,010 supporters at Parkside Road.

Wright, playing up front with Carl Lomax, opened the scoring for United after only 12 minutes. Lomax wriggled free of the home defence and had just enough time to before Jimmy Williams’ challenge to square the ball to the unmarked Wright on his left at the edge of the box. The winger-cum-striker was in no mood to pass up the gift of a chance and moved into the area before confidently slotting the ball into the bottom right corner past David Newnes.

It was just 16 minutes later that United doubled their lead. A sweeping move forward saw Dave Neville slip a pass in behind the Town defence to Carden. The midfielder looked like he could have been offside and for a split second the game stopped as both sets of players looked to the linesman, however, with no flag raised the number eight coolly slotted the ball past the oncoming Newnes to make it two.

With Kendal looking a bit shell shocked, United could have finished the game off. Five minutes before half-time, Carlos Roca raced away down the right wing. The diminutive winger seemed to be lacking a bit of confidence though as despite having time on his hands he rushed a long range effort and sliced it high and wide of the right hand post.

Kendal did have a chance to get back into the game early in the second half. Ashton had to be alert and at his most agile to stop Simon Garner from scoring an own goal. Lee Mulvaney jinxed his way into United’s box and smashed the ball across the six-yard area. Garner stuck out a leg to stop a Kendal forward getting on the end of the cross but he accidently deflected the ball goalwards but Ashton saved the fullback’s blushes.

With United seeming to cope with everything the hosts had to offer it looked like it would need something really special or a defensive lapse in concentration to get Town back into the match. As it turned out, it was a debatable penalty with 25 minutes to go.

With Kendal pushing forward Ian Kilford tried his luck through a crowd of bodies just inside the box. His shot smashed into Garner who used his hands to project himself and the referee ruled that it was enough to award a penalty. Half-time substitute Michael Cole stepped up and buried the spot kick into the bottom left corner, just inches out of Ashton’s grasp to set up a tense finish.

However, although they had a large amount of pressure, Town didn’t trouble Ashton and mainly resorted to lumping long balls forward which the big central defenders of David Chadwick and Adam Tong were more than happy to deal with.

It was actually United who nearly stretched their lead. It was Roca who was looking the most lively and moments after the penalty conversion, he dribbled his way clear on the left wing and tried an audacious chip from inside the box. Wirth Newnes beaten David Standley had to scurry back to hook the ball off the line.

Substitute Tunji Moses was driving the Reds forward and in the dying minutes he played an excellent ball down the left for Jamie Baguley who teed it up for Roca. The winger was once again unfortunate not to get on the score sheet - thi time Newnes made two great saves.

The missed chances did not prove costly and although an extra goal would not have flattered United, the travelling Red army were content to leave with all three points.

23-02-2009 at 19:46

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