The Riverside was a happy hunting ground for Colls last season, with victories in the FA Trophy and league, we went into this game with 4 wins from 4 away in the league, our yellow away shirt being something of a lucky charm.
Straight from the kick off, Colls were looking to increase goals for column, already the highest in the league. Tom Bentham leading the front line the first to try his luck with only seconds on the clock. Ben Hardcastle was also keen test his shooting boots in the first minute, both efforts failing to trouble the Kendal keeper.
Vinny Bailey was next up as Colls started the game extremely brightly, collecting a Ben Conway pass, his deft chip being tipped wide of the goal and away from danger by Stuart Dixon. The ball remained alive and Bailey this time chose to pick out Tom Bentham in the box, his cushioned header sat up for Ben Hardcastle to volley past the despairing dive of Dixon to open the scoring. Hardcastle had a further chance on 10 minutes when a Gavin Clark clearance cannoned off him, over the keeper and narrowly wide.
Kendal had a couple of forays into the Colls box, the central defensive unit of Lafferty and Grimshaw being well protected by Lambert and Messer in midfield, Steven Yawson causing problems out wide. It was Lambert who created the next chance on 18 minutes, breaking from defence to release Hardcastle down the right, his cross causing further chaos in the Kendal defence, the ball rolling agonisingly close to the goal line before being hooked clear.
On 25 minutes, the referee showed his first card of the game to Gavin Clark as he wrestled Bentham to the ground on the edge of the D, with not another defender in sight and a clear run on goal in the offing. Gaz Peet hitting the free kick straight into the wall.
With the first half looking like petering out with Colls only having that early goal to show for all the chances they’d created, Hardcastle intercepted a loose pass and released Bailey, who controlled with one touch then arrowed a shot across Dixon into the far corner to double the lead.
Kendal started the second half with Daniel McGahon replacing John Beckwith, McGahon made a nuisance of himself on the right as Kendal came more into the game. Colls were still creating chances, Matthews maybe should have better directed his header from a Bailey free kick on 48 whilst on 51 we came very close to seeing a rare Josh Messer goal as he danced through the Kendal defence, Dixon saving well to his left.
Kendal’s best chance of the game came on 56 when a Brad Carroll shot deflected out for a corner, it could have been far worse as Latham looked to have been wrong footed.
Both McGahon and Scott Harries had half-chances to get Kendal back in the game, the later benefiting from an also rare Josh Messer stray pass, before Colls attacking unit kicked back into action. Cover had replaced Bentham but was yet to get chance to exploit the space behind the Kendal defence.
The game was finally put to bed on 80 minutes when Ben Hardcastle, who had just had the ball nicked off his toes by the keeper, setting himself up to hit a 25 yard volley. Dixon despite being well placed could only acrobatically parry the ball out, Cover the first to react was able to smash the ball into the roof of the net from 8 yards out.
The final bit of action saw a controversial second yellow card for Kendal right-back Jacob Davis for hauling Hardcastle down in the box to give away a penalty. Despite already being in the book he’d previously put in a very robust challenge on Hardcastle, an incident we thought more deserved action. Substitute Conor Gaul took responsibility for the spot kick against his former team to finish off the scoring.
Latham, Matthews, G Peet, Messer, Lafferty(C), Grimshaw, Hardcastle, Lambert, Bentham(Cover 57′), Bailey(Giverin 82′), Conway(Gaul 81′)
Unused subs: Sherlock, Spooner