Kendal Town 1 Witton Albion 0
WITTON succumbed to their eight straight defeat on Tuesday night at a frosty Lakeland Stadium thanks to a tale of missed chances.
With four changes made to the starting line-up from Saturday’s poor performance at home to Leigh Genesis, Witton emerged from this UniBond Premier clash with much more credibility.
Pushing for a top-three position, the home side tore into Witton from the off. In the 5th minute Gregg Smith parried the ball away and great positioning on the line by his namesake Neil Smith stopped a certain goal.
Albion made several forays forward but errant passing soon ended the attacks.
Just after the half-hour mark, Kendal took the lead through their player-manager Lee Ashcroft who fired home after the ball broke free following a corner.
Albion came close to equalising three minutes before the break when a Mark Drew free kick was superbly tipped over his crossbar by keeper David Newnes.
They came even closer on 59 minutes as Dan Skelton, who gave an assured performance throughout, broke the Kendal offside trap and slid the ball past the advancing Newnes.
Agonisingly for Skelton, and for the hardy following of Wittoners gathered behind the goal, the ball rebounded off the base of the left-hand post.
Boss Nigel Deeley introduced Ross Thaker to the proceedings and Albion began to make inroads down the left flank culminating with Newnes making a diving save to keep Nick Linford’s shot from reaching its target.
On 75 minutes, a mistake at the back allowed Kendal a straight run on goal. Witton stopper Greg Smith came out to try and rescue but in so doing so he brought the forward down, getting himself cautioned and conceding a penalty. However Witton were thrown a lifeline when Ashcroft struck his kick wide of the right post.
On 84 minutes Thaker again got to the by-line before pulling the ball back but substitute Lee Thompson was totally wayward with his shot.
Scott Willis was only cautioned late on after an horrendous challenge left the Kendal player in distress as Witton strived to claim a point.
But it was not to be as Witton dropped into the bottom four of the league for the first time this season.
Manager Deeley has an immediate opportunity to halt what has become an alarming slide on Saturday as Eastwood Town visit Wincham Park.
WITTON: G Smith, Schwarz, Pritchard, N Smith (Willis 81), Scott, Wiggins-Thomas (Thompson 71), Linford, Drew, B Thornley, Skelton (Thaker 63), R Thornley. Subs not used: Dunne, McGaw.