MATCH PREVIEW: The Cumberland/Westmorland derby

Dan Wordsworth will be the latest senior player to take time-out of Reds’ pre-season preparations as they head through the ‘Lakes’ for Saturday’s friendly versus Kendal Town (3pm).

He had his own ‘Match of the Day’ to consider on Thursday when he got married so Danny Grainger will have to go into the game with a makeshift back four as Sam Smith is not yet ready to return.

Dan has featured in all six matches this summer and was a key component of that brilliant defensive record last term.

The season proper is just three weeks away and a good pre-season has been disrupted by the absence of a number of senior players. Some of those will get game time at Parkside Road but there could still be six absentees for what will be the penultimate pre-season outing.

Greg McCaragher had his protective boot removed earlier this week so he will be able to start his rehab soon but Ceiran Casson remains on the sidelines for the immediate future.

Kendal Town are preparing for life in the North West Counties League this season but there have been plenty ‘green shoots of recovery’ signs that they are in a better place now than they have been for a few years.

Apart from a heavy defeat against Carlisle United, they have recorded some good pre-season results, scoring a few goals in the process.

Rob Wilson and Tom Kilifin, who have both scored for Reds against Kendal in the past, are back with the club and keen to revive their fortunes.

We sincerely hope it isn’t too long before they return to the Northern Premier League where we were regular opponents for the last three seasons and throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties.

As we are now in different leagues again, we can renew the annual summer encounter which saw us become regular visitors between 2012 and 2017.

Town are producing a programme for this fixture.

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