Vics' saw off the threat of Kendal Town on Tuesday evening with a professional performance; running out three-nil winners. Callum Henry gave Vics' the lead on 25' with a headed effort; and Stuart Cook notched the second mid-way through the second half. In-form Iain Howard blasted in a free-kick in injury time to complete the scoring; registering his fifth goal in his last four outings. The result ensures Vics' stay in third position in the League Table with just two fixtures remaining and we are now assured of a play-off place. The Table can be viewed here - http://www.footballwebpages.co.uk/league/northonenorth

 

Tuesday 14th April 2015. COMPETITION - Evo-Stik NPL Division One North. VENUE - Lancaster & Morecambe College stadium, Kendal.

 

LINE-UP'S - Kendal Tn - Eccles, Henry, Thomas, Mercer (C), Forbes, Heliwell, Mason, Winters, Connerton, Carney, Kesy.  Subs - Clark, Swarbrick, Stringfellow, Cameron.

 

Vics' - Deasy (C), Smalley, Ali, Clarke, Henry, Meadowcroft, Cook, Roddy, Burnett (Grayson 82'), Bennett (Fishwick H/T), Howard.  Un-used subs' - McCoy (GK), Smith, Summerskill.

 

GOALS - Vics' - Callum Henry 25', Stuart Cook 67', Iain Howard 90'.

 

No bookings or red cards for Vics'.

 

The match opened with both sides struggling to get a foothold in proceeding. On 14', Vics' Mike Roddy had the game's first effort at goal, sending a left-foot low drive wide of Mintcakes' keeper' Danny Eccles far-post. Kendal were proving hard to break down; but on 25' Callum Henry headed home into the far corner of the net from the left-hand side of the six-yard box after Iain Howard had sent across an inch-perfect corner. Vics' largely dominated the rest of the half but without really troubling Eccles in the home goal too often. Mintcakes' midfielder Rory Winters' had a shot clear the bar with plenty to spare on 40' as the Green and Whites headed into the break with a slender lead.

 

Pictured belowCallum Henry is congratulated on his goal immediately by Gary Burnett then by Richie Bennett (No.10) with Mike Roddy (far left) rushing in to add his congratulations (bottom picture.)

Callum Henry Kendal 2015

Cal Henry Knedal 2015

 

HALF-TIME Kendal Tn 0-1 Vics'.

 

Kendal came out for the second half looking very motivated to get back on terms - ex-Vics' midfielder Craig Carney broke free just outside the box on 61' and sent a low shot goal-wards but Tim Deasy was equal to the effort, gathering at the second attempt. Stuart Cook got the all-important second goal on 67', Gary Burnett embarked on a typical lung-busting run down the left channel and left two Mintcakes' defenders in his wake; before dragging the ball back to Cook who slammed in a left-foot shot into the bottom corner from just outside the box. Kendal defender Thomas then saw his 25 yard volley acrobatically saved by Deasy in Vics' goal as the home side kept plugging away. On 78', Vics' sub' Reece Fishwick saw his low shot from 10 yards beaten away by Eccles after another run and darg-back pass by the tireless Gary Burnett. As the game entered the dying stages, in-form Iain Howard secured victory with a drilled left-foot free-kick into the bottom corner from 22 yards, that the keeper' could only watch whizz past him and into the corner of his net.

 

Vics' M.O.M - Stuart Cook. Totally dominated the midfield battle, busy as ever and finally broke his scoring duck with a fine finish on his wrong foot to lay the platform for another crucial three points.

 

Manager Jim Gannon's reaction to the win that secured Vics' a play-off berth and now in pole position to finish third and secure a home tie. 

 

A professional performance, Jim. We took a little while to get into our stride, but once we got the first goal we never looked in danger of drawing/losing the game. That now takes us to 80pts and a play-off place; with probably only one win required from the remaining two games to secure third spot and a home tie.
 
It was a very good display from the players. Any game is difficult away from home especially after such a long distance to travel on a Tuesday evening. We also had to contend with some very late withdrawals from the squad. Illness and work commitments meant we were without three first team players Josh Amis, Abou Sanogo and Cedric Krou. Despite this we re-shaped the team and we were confident that the team and shape we were going to use would give us a strong foothold in he game. But we did struggle a bit in the opening exchanges to link passes and get up the pitch consistently. Kendal Town FC are having a difficult end to the season but they started the game brightly and looked highly motivated in the opening exchanges, and their raised tempo created some exciting play but also caused a lot of disrupted play.
Kendal Town have a well defined 4-3-3 shape and the movement of their front three caused a few problems with their interchange between each other and the midfielders. But as the first half wore on I felt that our play was becoming increasingly threatening. It was nice to open the scoring, especially from a corner. A great delivery from Iain Howard met by Callum to nod home. 
In the second half we had to re-shape again due to the heavy knock received by Richie Bennett. I pushed Clarkie up front to keep the physical pressure on their back four and with Gaz's pace we continued to threaten a second goal. From one such quick counter from Gaz, he worked an opening for Stuart Cook, who showed great skill and composure to score the second. However, the game was far from over and after Kendal made their substitutions, the game opened up for both sides again. Kendal worked some very good openings on the break and were unfortunate not to score and bring some life back into the final part of the match. In some ways I was comfortable leaving the game open as I was conscious of the potential need to have the better goal difference to secure third spot. So it was pleasing in the end to get a third goal and secure all three points. Another fine strike from Iain Howard put added gloss on the performance and scoreline. 
I made the comment after the game that this game's result was worth four points! As the extra goals means we now have a superior goal difference over Spennymoor and Bamber going into the last two games. And given the closeness of the three sides then perhaps the three play-off places will be split on goal difference. We have two league games left and if we maintain the professional approach to those games, and play like we can; then we can secure third spot.
 

Up next for Vics' is an Evo-Stik NPL Division One North fixture on Saturday 18th April at HOME Vs Harrogate Railway Athletic. Kick-off is at 15:00. 

Match report & interview by Jamie Dewsbury.