Kidsgrove Athletic are up to 12th in the Northern Premier League West Division with a fine 4-2 win over relegation-threatened Kendal Town.
Two goals from the inform Kingsley Adu-Gyamfi and one goal each from Callum Leigh and Max McCarthy helped the Grove leapfrog several sides, who weren’t in action due to their games getting called off.
Kidsgrove manager Scott Dundas made two changes to the side that played in the entertaining 3-3 draw at Mossley last weekend. John Johnston returned to the side, replacing captain Anthony Malbon. While Danny Cocks started in place of forward Kieran Brown, who found himself on the substitutes bench.
It wasn’t a great start for Kidsgrove as the visitors took the lead after just seven minutes of play. Gary Basterfield broke down the wing before flashing a shot past Ryan Brown into the far corner of the goal. It was the first meaningful attack of the game but, it was a deserved lead by the side from Cumbria as they had started the better of the two teams.
Kidsgrove’s first two chances fell to Johnston. However, the winger was to put both efforts over James McGleneghan’s crossbar. Meanwhile, Adu-Gyamfi saw his shot deflect wide of the goal as the hosts looked for an early equaliser.
Adu-Gyamfi has been in decent form since returning from his suspension over Christmas and, he got his fifth goal in three games on 28 minutes when he was able to turn home a cross from Johnston. It was Adu-Gyamfi’s 20th goal for Kidsgrove since arriving in 2019 from Staffordshire County Senior League side Silverdale Athletic.
Sometimes in football, it pays off to go route one and, the Grove did that on 30 minutes to good effect as they took the lead. Goalkeeper Brown decided to launch a long ball forward to Adu-Gyamfi he beat the offside trap to lash a stunning volley past McGleneghan to make it 2-1.
However, the Grove’s lead lasted just four minutes as Kendal got themselves on level terms when their top scorer Eric Yahaya was able to shrug off Oliver Jepson to fire past Brown for 2-2.
Adu-Gyamfi had a great chance to wrap up his hat-trick just before the break when he got himself into a decent shooting position. However, his effort was deflected wide of the goal by Kendal defender Jack Byrne.
The last action in a crazy first half came right on the half-time whistle when Kendal’s Charlie Egan went steaming in on Kyle Blake. The crunching tackle left the referee Richard Abson no choice but to brandish the red card to Egan.
After the break, Kidsgrove dictated the play without really testing the Kendal Town goalkeeper. The best two chances fell to Adu-Gyamfi. However, the forward was to put both of his attempts wide of the goal as he looked for his hat-trick.
Kidsgrove finally got the third goal on 61 minutes when Johnston teed up Leigh, who from the edge of the area hit a deft lob over McGleneghan for his second Kidsgrove goal since arriving from Widnes back in December.
Despite being a goal behind and down to ten men, Kendal did offer glimpses of snatching their third goal of the afternoon. The best chance came on 80 minutes when Tom Fagan was able to play in Yahaya but, thankfully for Kidsgrove, Brown was able to rush out and block the effort with his feet.
The points were made safe on 84 minutes when Johnston’s quick free-kick found Ricky Bridge. The left-back crossed the ball to the far post, where McCarthy was waiting to volley home his second goal since joining on loan from Stoke City. The goal was also a landmark moment for Kidsgrove as it was the 1,200 goal the Grove had scored in the Northern Premier League, having joined the division back in 2002.
It was a vital win for the Grove as they move up to 12th in the league table. Yes, their cause was helped, with a few teams not in action but as most managers will tell you, they would rather have points on the board.
After the game, Scott Dundas spoke to Moorlands Radio about the game.
Kidsgrove Athletic: R.Brown, Bromfield, Bridge, Padden (K.Brown, 55), Jepson, O’Riordan, Leigh, Blake (Lovatt, 78), Adu-Gyamfi, Johnston and Cocks (McCarthy, 67).
Unused sub: Bergin
Kendal Town: McGleneghan, Wraighte, Batch, Byrne, Nightingale, Davis (Sithole, 60), Kinkela (Fagan, 65), Egan, Yahaya, Cross (Mobbs, 75) and Basterfield.
Unused subs: Smith and Brogan.