Revived Poppies 2-1 winners away to St Ives Town

Kettering TownSt Ives Town

St Ives Town 1
Parker 30pen

Kettering Town 2
O’Connor 55
Hoenes 67

After righting the ship in recent weeks Kettering Town are again on the road, traveling to mid-table St Ives Town with the memory of a 3-0 defeat at Latimer Park being the motivation for the Poppies to gain some revenge in this return fixture. Kettering have almost a full squad to choose from, with the Tom Knowles having finished his loan period, but Ben Toseland back in training after injury.

The game gets underway at a dull and overcast Westwood Road with the Poppies in their away Sky Blue strip and the hosts in their familiar Black and White stripes. A good start by Poppies as they begin to move the ball around but still looking to gain better control in a scrappy opening period. The hosts break forward and a shot flashes over Paul White’s crossbar which should serve as a warning shot for Poppies to settle quickly.

Goal!GOAL: Good build up play from Kettering as Kelly finds the head of Holman but the Poppies striker is ruled offside. A Kelly strike is tipped over the crossbar by Conway, the corner by Milnes finds Richens who heads towards goal but it’s headed clear. Seymour-Shove breaks clear, he’s one-on-one with Paul White who rushes out and bundles into the ex-Poppy. The referee points to the spot, up steps Robbie Parker to fire home. Thirty-two minutes gone, 1-0 to St Ives Town.

A free-kick to the hosts but White comes out to collect safely. O’Connor played in on goal but he blasts it wide of the target, looking like he hasn’t got his shooting boots on yet. Kettering struggling to find that final ball so far in the first 45 minutes and they trail going into the break by a penalty, the only real clear-cut chance of the game so far this afternoon. O’Connor is blatantly checked but nothing given and he’s spoken to by the referee for protesting too strongly.

Half-time:   St Ives Town 1   Kettering Town 0

Goal!GOAL: The second-half is underway at Westwood Road with Kettering trailing 1-0 to a first-half penalty and struggling so far to produce the usual quality final third or clinical finishing of previous matches. Cunnington is introduced into the mix to try and boost the attack. Meikle fouled in the box but the offside flag was up, Richens is booked for protesting the decision. Kettering back on the attack again as the ball is fed into Aaron O’Connor who blasts it past the keeper Conway to equalise at 1-1.

Kettering fans incensed as again as a foul in the area is waved away by the referee. Kettering win a corner, Kelly swings it into the back post, met by Towers head but keeper easily collects. Cunnington flicks the ball forward but Holman couldn’t connect and Conway gathers. Much brighter from Kettering in this second-half as they win another corner, swung in by Kelly to the far post but headed over the crossbar by Towers.

Kettering on the attack again and Cunnington is fouled off the ball in the penalty area, the referee walks over to the linesman who was flagging, Wood is booked and it’s a penalty. Up steps Dan Holman but it’s a weak effort and Conway gets across to palm away for a corner. Kelly to back post, Cunnington heads, saved by Conway, rebound stuck by O’Connor but it’s cleared off the line.

Goal!GOAL: Despite the penalty miss Kettering have the bit between their teeth and surge forward again, Rhys Hoenes is found out wide and he fires it from an angle into the roof of the net. What a dramatic five minute spell, missed a penalty, scrambled off the line, but eventually Kettering get the go-ahead goal. The hosts swap out and bring on Osei-Bonsu.

Conway makes a good save from Hoenes. Night and day between the first-half and second-half for Kettering and they’ve turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead despite also missing a penalty. The referee shows the yellow card to St Ives’Jarvis Wilson for dissent, not having the best of afternoon’s the officials today. Holman taken down by ex-Poppy Sundire after he turned him quick and gets a deserved yellow card. Free-kick goes well wide of the target.

Kelly-Evans is booked for a foul. Kettering bringing on Brett Solkhon for Aaron O’Connor who scored the Poppies equaliser. Just minutes remaining now for Kettering to see this one out and the Poppies swap out go-ahead goal-scorer Rhys Hoenes for Gary Stohrer. Mark Coulson replaced by George Bailey for the hosts. Baker goes down, referee waves play on and White easily collects through ball by Wood. A good spell by the hosts as White at full stretch to push behind for a corner, it’s batted down by White and booted clear.

A little jittery for Poppies there but they weather the storm and go back on the attack. A foul at the corner flag on Cunnington, Kettering take their time and win a throw in, just working out the minutes for a good second-half comeback. There goes the final whistle, a good comeback after a sluggish first-half and Kettering have another vital win and 3pts in the bag. Next up is a home fixture ob Saturday against Rushall Olympic.

Att: 639

Kettering Town: White, Towers, Stanley, Meikle, Milnes, Richens, Kelly, O’Connor, Holman, Kelly-Evans, Hoenes. Subs: Solkhon, Stohrer, Graham, Rowe-Turner, Cunnington.

St Ives Town: Conway, Jackson, Coulson, Sundire, Wood, Wilson, Wallis, Parker, Ward, Baker, Seymour-Shove. Subs: Patrick, Bailey, Snaith, Osei-Bonsu, Newman.


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