REPORT by Nigel Jepson
This was a match that United should have won at a canter but in the end found themselves pegged back to a draw and a single point instead of achieving a win and the full three.
The first half rarely got going but the few chances there were all fell United’s way.
A misdirected Mason Fawns header from a Paul Dugdale cross was the first such missed opportunity for the Rams.
A raking 40-metre pass from Domaine Rouse set Danny O’Brien free down the right but Sefton Gonzales wasn’t able to convert his cross, shooting narrowly wide from short range.
Then when Fawns released Jake Thompson to put in another dangerous cross, somehow the ball eluded both Gonzales and Tony Donaldson at the far post.
Half-time arrived with the score remaining 0-0. As an illustration of the pattern of play, Kendal hadn’t had a single shot on goal throughout this first 45 minutes.
Fortunately, not least for spectators’ sake, the second half opened in more promising fashion. Finally after 52 minutes, United took the lead when Donaldson squared a cross into Gonzales’ path for United’s chief striker to tuck the ball into the net to put the Rams 1-0 up.
However, this hard-earned lead was destined to last precisely one minute! As if waking up out of a coma, Kendal finally managed to mount a meaningful attack on the opposition goal. After United had gone through their celebrations and were still plainly looking relieved to have broken the deadlock a minute earlier, Kendal winger James Hodgson dashed through unopposed down the left flank and flashed a shot past Allinson to level the score at 1-1. Stunned disbelief around the ground!
To their credit, United came back in determined mode. But again, a series of further near misses was all the home team had to show for continued territorial dominance. One very encouraging aspect though at this point was the skill and enterprise demonstrated by Mason Fawns from set pieces.
A strong run down the right by Thompson ended up with him being fouled on the edge of the penalty-area. With Fawns and Dugdale both standing over the ball, the Kendal keeper seemed to position himself in readiness for an in-swinging strike from the left-footed Dugdale. However, it was Fawns who took the free kick, cleverly stabbing his right-foot shot into the net the other side of where the keeper was standing to put the Rams justifiably back in the lead at 2-1 after 75 minutes.
With a quarter of an hour to go, United looked in complete control now with Kendal seeming to have nothing up their sleeve to suggest any remaining threat of a comeback. On 90 minutes though, out of the blue, with the game in its dying seconds, a killer one-two move through the heart of Rammy’s defence saw Kendal’s no. 4 Thomas Fagan make no mistake with the opportunity presented to him to level the score at 2-2 just before the final whistle blew.
Daylight robbery it seemed for the away team to have emerged from this one-sided encounter with a point, but the home side only had themselves to blame on the night for blowing the chance of capturing three points.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Allinson, Harrison, Dugdale, Rouse, Waldron, Osi-Efa, Thompson, Fawns, Gonzales (capt), Donaldson (Burns), O’Brien. Sub not used: Moreland.