Prescot Cables held 3rd placed Darlington to a goalless draw in an exciting hard fought encounter at Hope Street.
Manager Dave Powell made four changes from the side which had drawn at Radcliffe in midweek. Mottram, Cairns, Haynes and Howard replacing Culkin, Balazs, Coyle and Robinson.
Darlington kicked off playing towards the Park End and were soon on the attack, Purewal forcing Mottram into an early save, pushing the ball away for a corner kick. Mottram then took the ball comfortably from Thompson’s corner kick. Purewal then broke down the right side crossing for Fisher but the Cables defence were able to clear. Darlington continued to apply the early pressure and Mitchell’s cross was headed across goal by Fisher but no Darlington player was waiting to apply the finishing touch.
Cables eventually started to make some ground and Foy’s cross from the left was headed clear by the Darlington defence. Darlington’s Johnny Davis played the ball to Mitchell on the right who played it back to Harrison whose cross was cleared by the Cables defence.
Thompson then tried a long range effort which was well wide of the target. Purewal and Thompson then linked up down the left with Thompson advancing into the Cables penalty area and hitting his shot just wide of the far post.
Cables were forced to make an early change when Coyle replaced the injured Anthony Shinks. Darlington continued to press and a cross by Galbraith was cleared for a corner. The corner taken by Mitchell was a short one to Thompson whose shot was well saved by Mottram.
On 29 minutes Isaac Kusaloka had an opportunity for Cables outpacing the Darlington defence and shooting narrowly wide. Kusaloka’s pace was unsettling the Darlington defence and he was brought down as he advanced towards goal which earned a booking for the Darlington defender. The free kick by Phil Howard was played towards the far post for the advancing Coyle who was unable to get on the end of it and the ball went out of play.
Mottram was called into action again on 31 minutes when he punched away Thompson’s in swinging corner from under the bar. Purewal then headed on for Fisher who volleyed wide of the target for Darlington.
A cross by Galbraith was then headed over by Darlington captain Gary Brown. Just before the break Gilroy headed on for Kusaloka who once aqain outpaced the Darlington defence and fired narrowly wide.
The second half began with Cables being awarded a free kick on the edge of the Darlington penalty area. The free kick by Bannister was cleared by the Darlington defence.
Darlington then had an opportunity from a corner kick taken by Mitchell headed on by Fisher and cleared off the goal line as far as Davis who headed wide of the far post.
Robert Gilroy crossed across the penalty area for Cables but no one was there to connect. Darlington then forced a Corner taken by Thompson which was cleared at the far post. Isaac Kusaloka then broke down the left side and his cross was cleared by the Darlington defence.
On 66 minutes Cables had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Phil Howard found himself clean through on goal but he shot straight at Bell who saved comfortably. Darlington began pushing forward in the last 20 minutes in an attempt to snatch the winning goal.
They forced three corners in quick succession, White’s header being cleared and Harrison firing wide. Purewal received the ball from Mitchell inside the penalty area but was dispossessed by Mottram as he attempted to go round him.
Dowson then received a long ball over the top of the Cables defence and he attempted to chip the ball over Mottram who saved well. Cables made a late change Jarrett replacing Gilroy.
Cables were awarded a free kick on 87 minutes for a foul on Kusaloka. Foy played the ball into Howard who turned sharply and fired just over the bar. Darlington’s Mitchell went close his in swinging cross clipping the cross bar.
In stoppage time Mottram came to Cables rescue with a spectacular save palming Galbraiths powerful goal bound header away. There was still time for Cables to respond and Darlington’s Tait almost sliced a cross from the right into his own goal.
Prescot Cables: Mottram, Cairns, Foy, Shinks, Haynes, Pinto-Viera, McCulloch, Bannister, Kusaloka, Howard, Gilroy. Substitutes: Dempsey, Coyle, Jarrett, McGann, Lowton.
Kendal Town: Bell, Harrison, Galbraith, Tait, White, Brown, Mitchell, Davis, Fisher, Purewal, Thompson.
Substitutes: Dowson, Johnson, Hopson, Wynn, Jamieson.