Colls return to the Skuna on Saturday as they attempt to maintain their top of the table position against second bottom Kendal Town.
The two teams met at Parkside Road in October, the Colls running out comfortable winners by 4-0 with 2 goals in either half. Ben Hardcastle volleying in the opening goal then released Vinny Bailey to arrow the ball across the keeper into the far corner to double the lead. Hardcastle again played a part in the third as the keeper failed to hold his shot as Jordan Cover was alert to the rebound, slamming into the roof of the net. Hardcastle hadn’t finished there as he was felled for a late penalty, former Mintcake man Conor Gaul stepping up to slot the spot kick home to complete the scoring.
Avid Colls fans may recall a Lancashire Cup clash in 2006/07, when Kendal sat in the Evo-Stik Premier Division whilst Colls were sat in the North-West Counties. We had to wait until 2017 to meet in the league, an early season 0-0 draw at Alder St, memorable only for the fact Colls went to the top of the league, courtesy of the fixture being on the Monday night before other teams had played their second game of the season.
The teams met again in October when Colls were on their first ever FA Trophy run, following a convincing victory over Stocksbridge Park Steels in their first game in the competition. A trip to Parkside Road their reward. With it being late October, the weather had set in and the pitch made the going tough for both teams. Our own Conor Gaul, in the black and white of the home team, was involved in Kendal's early chances, Mike Aspin benefiting to put the hosts into an early lead. Colls were level on 15 minutes with the most memorable action from the game, the enigmatic Ryan Salmon diving gracefully to connect perfectly with a Darrhyl Mason cross to bullet the ball into the net with an unstoppable header. The teams went into the break at 2-2 after a stunning Paul Dawson strike cancelled out a Chris Lynch header.
The second half saw Jordan Cover introduce himself to Kendal to put the Colls 3-2 up before Ash Woods rounded off the scoring to put us 4-2 up and into the hat for the next round.
The clubs met at Kendal again in March, this time back to league action, and that man Cover was the difference as Colls triumphed 1-0, firstly being dragged down by Kendal skipper Stuart McDonald to earn him a red card then later scoring one of his best goals for the club. Breaking through with his usual pace, but instead of taking the ball past the keeper, he opted to hit it as hard as possible, flying into the net off the underside of the bar. An unstoppable shot to send the Colls fans amassed behind the goal into delirium, whilst Cover himself peeled of celebrate with his father.
Manager Dave Foster has brought players in from higher leagues including defensive midfielder Gavin Clark and box to box midfielder Billy Akrigg, who both have experience at Lancaster City but lost players like Oliver Wood, Paul Dawson and the aforementioned Conor Gaul, a mixed bag in the transfer market. News has also just landed that they have lost wing man Scott Harries to Bamber Bridge, Harries had scored twice to grab a point against Clitheroe on New Year’s Day and will be a big miss. However Town will come into the game full of confidence having earned a well-deserved point at high-flying Prescot Cables last week.
Our man to watch for The Mintcakes is forward Steven Yawson who initially joined the club on loan from Morecambe, scoring a hat-trick on his debut against Droylesden, who bagged their equaliser at Cables last week.
For Colls, Jordan Cover is expected to be missing with injury with Tom Bentham again leading the forward line. Matt Grimshaw played 90 minutes mid-week for Northwich Victoria in a 4-0 win at Padiham whilst Adam Farrell is also returning to full fitness.
Date: 19th January 2019
Postcode – M46 9EY