Big Jubilee Lunch

Mint performance as Town go top with win at Kendal

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WARRINGTON Town went top of the league as they extended their unbeaten run to 11 games with a 3-0 win at Kendal Town.

In a town famous for its mint cakes, the hosts had no answer to Shaun Reid’s side who registered a tenth win in 11 games.

After a scrappy first half opener, goals from Nathan Burke and Ben Deegan made sure of the points in the final quarter.

Going in to the game after 11 goals in two home games in the last seven days, Warrington got off to a sluggish start, though their opponents fared little better.

The only incidents of note inside the opening 25 minutes involved an injury on both sides. Kendal midfielder Craig Carney, a one-time Town target, hobbled off having hurt himself in a lunging tackle on Nathan Burke for which he was perhaps a little fortunate to only receive a yellow card.

He was joined in the treatment room minutes later by Warrington centre-back Daniel O’Donnell, who sustained an ankle injury in a clash with a centre forward, and that meant club captain Craig Robinson made an appearance off the bench.

The first meaningful chance of the game resulted in a goal. Former Bolton midfielder Chris Lester, playing in place of the unavailable Chris Gahgan, got in behind the left full-back and took the ball along the byline. His pull back was scuffed goalwards by Ciaran Kilheeney and the ball eventually found the back of the net via Deegan’s back and a weak hand from the goalkeeper.

Prior to half time, the only other action in either penalty area both came from errors. First, Robinson’s misjudged header back to Karl Wills was intercepted by Thomas Cummings, and Wills had to be alert to make a strong save with his legs.

Then at the other end, Kendal ‘keeper Rick Whiteside put a lot of trust in his own footwork to beat a hassling Deegan, who ultimately committed a foul.

Warrington made a positive start to the second half and almost doubled their lead when Kilheeney struck the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the box having been set-up nicely by a neat bit of skill by Scott Metcalfe.

Metcalfe twice did his bit at the other end, making a crucial block inside the box and then clearing a header off the line from a corner, before his afternoon was ended prematurely following a scything tackle from Kendal right back Mike Aspin which prompted an entry in to the referee’s notebook.

The risk of an edgy final 15 minutes was virtually extinguished by the crucial second goal, which came from the left foot of Nathan Burke.

Substitute Michael Grogan, who returned to Town on loan from Telford this week, created space down the right hand side for Burke to enter the box and although the keeper got a firm hand to Burke’s curling effort, it was not enough to prevent the ball crossing the line via the far post.

That relieved any pressure Town might be feeling in closing out yet another win, and they put the icing on the cake seven minutes from time.

After Danny Ventre had seen a free-kick beaten away by the ‘keeper, substitute Steven Gillespie released Deegan with a perfectly weighted through ball and Deegan finished confidently, lifting it over the goalkeeper with his left foot.

The win, coupled with Glossop’s draw against Brighouse, lifts Warrington to the top of the Evo-Stik League First Division North table ahead of Tuesday’s visit of Burscough – the only team to have beaten Reid’s side in the league this season.

ben-deegan-kendal

Ben Deegan celebrates his goal – PICTURE JOHN HOPKINS

Kendal Town: Whiteside, Aspin, Thomas, Forbes, Williams, Smalley, Carney (Cummings), Bailey, Connerton, Wilkins, Wilson. Unused subs: Harrison, Kitchen.

Warrington Town: Wills, Brown, McQuade, Ventre, McCarten, O’Donnell (Robinson), Lester (Grogan), Burke, Kilheeney, Deegan, Metcalfe (Gillespie). Unused subs: Turner, Wharton.

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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