Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gray thunderbolt seals Kendal victory against FC United

 Source: Westmorland Gazette

 10:49pm Tuesday 25th January 2011

 * By Patrick O'Kane » Senior News/Sport Reporter

Evo-Stik Premier League.

Kendal Town 3 FC United of Manchester 2.
A DOUBLE from central defender Shaun Gray sealed a 3-2 victory for Kendal Town as they made it four wins from five against FC United of Manchester tonight, Tuesday.

In a classic non-league encounter two of the league's form sides met and it was a great advert for the Evo-Stik Premier League.

Town took the lead on 39 minutes after Jake Cottrell lunged in on Chris Ward.

After a stoppage in play and a booking for Cottrell, Walmsley fired a ball deep into the box from the right touchline and Gray bagged his first Town goal with a well directed header to the bottom right corner.

But it was 1-1 before the break, despite Town dominating play.

Simon Carden collected 12 yards out and he struck low to the bottom corner under Newnes, who was struggling with injury.

Boss Lee Ashcroft replaced Newnes and the injured Mark Jackson (hamstring) with Tom Newton and Jack Smith at half-time, and Smith gave Town a lift as they looked to regain the lead.

But the sucker punch was dealt just four minutes into the second half, when FC United took a 2-1 lead.

Jerome Wright beat Newton to the ball out to the left of the Kendal area and knocked it goal bound.

Despite the efforts of George Melling getting back the ball crossed the line before he could kick it clear.

Town showed their grit and determination to get back into the game and levelled just two minutes later.

And it was another Walmsley specialty, this time from the left win which set up the goal and Carl Osman was on hand to head home beyond keeper Sam Ashton.

Just four minutes later Town had used all their subs when Osman pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Mat Ashcroft.

Town were rejuvenated after their equaliser and an end to end match had the 508 fans cheering throughout and when Gary Stopforth was fouled on the edge of the box, you would have expected Walmsley to have a strike.

But new boy Gray placed the ball for the free kick and blazed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of Ashton's goal for 3-2 on the 70 minute mark.

As Town pushed for a fourth FC United fancied a counter attack goal with Wright and Mike Norton both going close after escaping their markers.

And in the dying seconds Nicky Platt should have levelled from two yards out but the ball went through him from the corner and Melling blasted it upfield.

A draw would have been a fair result on the night but boss Ashcroft will be delighted with his side as they grow in confidence.

Town climb to seventh in the league and will travel to fifth-placed Marine on Saturday where they will aim to make it five wins from six.

HOW THEY RATED: David Newnes 7 (rep Tom Newton 45mins 7), Keiran Walmsley 8, Adam Sumner 7, George Melling 7, Shaun Gray 8, Gary Stopforth 7, Carl Osman 7 (rep Mat Ashcroft 61mins), Mark Jackson 7 (rep Jack Smith 45mins 7), Alex Taylor 7, Ashley Dunn 8, Chris Ward 8.

Subs: Dave Foster, Paul Osbourne Star Man: Shaun Gray - superb at the back and bagged a brilliant brace to give Town victory Att: 508