Colls return to league action this Saturday, following their FA Trophy exit to Marske United, when we travel to South Lakeland to face Kendal Town. Also a chance to reacquaint ourselves with an old friend, the M6!
Avid Colls fans may recall a Lancashire Cup clash in 2006/07, when Kendal were perched 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, our highest ever league position!
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.
This year, we encounter a Kendal side sat only just above the bottom group of teams in the table, following their 5-1 loss to Prescot Cable in the FA Trophy last weekend are now left to concentrate solely on the league.
Although results in October haven't been great, they will be encouraged by the fact that Trafford took 80 minutes to break them down and league leaders Runcorn Linnets needed a late penalty to take the points, Scott Harries had equalised after Connor McCarthy opened the scoring. We certainly know the feeling of being on the receiving end of one of his specials!
Manager Dave Foster has brought players in from higher leagues including defensive midfielder Gavin Clark and winger Scott Harries, 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 also added another former Lancaster City man in midfielder Billy Akrigg to the squad and he'll be available for the first time against Colls.
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 Droylsden, who bagged their consolation goal against Cables last Saturday.
For the Colls, the plans for the week were thrown into turmoil by the FA Trophy replay, our trip to Colne has now been rearranged for Saturday 27th October. Manager Micheal Clegg again utilised his full squad over the two Marske games and we expect further changes on Saturday. Midfielder Josh Peet hobbled off with an ankle injury and must be doubtful meanwhile exciting young midfielder James Sigsworth is getting some games under his belt at Ashton Town on loan.
Date: 20th October 2018
ST&B Accountants Stadium
Cumbria LA9 7BL
Admission: please check social media
Photo: Ian Monk