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Barnes Stormer

DEEP into injury time a free-kick was blasted home by Kevin Barnes to complete his hat-trick and Kendal Town's defeat of yet another Premier Division side.

Final - Kendal Town 3- Bradford Park Avenue 2

"Up for the Cup" is certainly Town's motto this and, while league results have been disappointing the home crowd has been treated to scintillating displays in cup competitions, which have seen first Lancaster, then Barrow and now Bradford Park Avenue troop dejectedly from the Parkside pitch.

This first round tie in the FA Umbro Trophy was perhaps the best home performance so far this season as Bradford, promoted to the UniBond Premier Division last season were no mean performers which led to long spells of attractive open football from both sides.

In the first ten minutes Jason Maxwell's firm header from an Andrew Hayward corner rattled the Kendal crossbar and a speculative lob shot had keeper Lee Ward rapidly back-pedalling to tip over the top.

On 16 minutes Ward was called on to make a magnificent goal-line save when Maxwell's shot from five-yards looked a racing certainty to find the net.

Meanwhile there were signs that the Kendal trio of Peter Smith on the right wing and strikers Lee Chambers and Barnes were going to have a good day and one combination ended with a Barnes shot being hacked away from the line.

Yet Park Avenue could have been two up in 17 minutes, but for Ward again managing to get a hand to Michael Thompson' s shot from a mere three yards and divert it round the post.

Kendal's breakthrough came in the 27th minute when James Shepherd pushed on a long clearance and Barnes out-sprinted the last defender to collect the ball and slot it wide of the advancing keeper.

A minute later Bradford should have levelled it, but from the centre of the penalty area and the goal yawning before him Maxwell contrived to scoop his shot wide.

In the 38th minute a great through ball by Phil Archbold found Barnes, but a push in the back denied him a shot on goal and appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears.

It mattered little for two minutes later Smith chested down the ball, although how it escaped touching his shielding arms was a minor miracle.

He slipped it down the wing to Chambers who cut in and delivered a perfect low cross which Barnes hammered in.

Overenthusiastic appeals to referee Mr D.G.

Commins that Smith had handled in setting up the attack earned yellow cards for both James Stansfield and Wayne Benn.

With half-time approaching Kendal unwisely relaxed and in the 45th minute the ball was allowed to ricochet around within their penalty area for Hayward to net for close-range.

In the second-half Bradford set about in earnest to get the equaliser, but solid tackling kept them out until the 65th minute when the ever dangerous Hayward was allowed space on the right, he stroked the ball firmly into the centre of the Kendal penalty area where a grateful Micahle Thompson gave Ward no chance with a shot inside the right hand upright.

End-to-end play and some fine defensive tackling from both sides followed as both sides sought the winner.

Dave Foster came on to replace Parkinson to give an additional striker he latched on to a huge clearance kick from keeper Ward to chip the ball on to Barnes, whose snap-shot was just tipped over by the keeper.

Hayton fed Chambers for a second strike, which went over the bar, and from a corner in 89th minute Kendal had what appeared to be a legitimate call for handball in the centre of the box turned down.

Just when a draw looked inevitable Smith was involved in yet more controversy as he went down surprisingly easily to a push and clearly believed he was inside the penalty area.

The referee ruled that the infringement was just outside the right hand corner of the penalty area, but up stepped Barnes to fire a magnificent winner over the wall and just inside the left hand upright to earn Kendal a second round meeting with Harrogate Town.

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