Royston Town 1
Kettering Town 2
Its back to the arguably more important league action for Kettering Town on Saturday when they travel to Royston Town for what should be their toughest test so far this season. Royston Town currently sit in 5th spot in the table despite being beaten 4-1 at Hanwell Town in their last league outing a fortnight ago. The Crows did manage however to see off Potters Bar Town 4-1 in the FA Trophy after a replay on Tuesday night.
The match gets underway with Kettering in their Red and Black shirts with white shorts and Royston in White shorts and Black shorts. Elliot Sandy returns to the Poppies starting lineup as Dubi Ogbonna makes way. The opening 15 minutes or so produces little in the way of trouble for either goalkeeper as the ball is knocked about in the middle of the park like a hot potato.
GOAL: Gooding’s shot is charged down, at the other end a corner for Royston sails high over the players and out for a Poppies throw. Midway through the first-half, still looking for that spark to ignite this match into action. Hall surges forward into the area, the ball falls to Elliot Sandy who buries in the back of the net with a scissor-kick. A great way to celebrate his return to the Poppies.
Good build-up play as Andy Hall fires just wide of the upright. Kettering having to defend a free-kick and they concede a corner, the ball is played into the area and as Gooding heads clear the half-time whistle sounds to bring the curtain down on a fairly successful first 45 minutes for the Poppies taking a 1-0 lead into the break.
Half-time: Royston Town 0 Kettering Town 1
GOAL: The second-half gets underway at Garden Walk with no changes by either side at the break. The Crows on the attack and free-kick floated into the area by Fehmi is flicked on with a deft header by Gary Hart that beats McAlindon and drops into the far corner. Shortly after the re-start, its 1-1.
Royston make a change as Nightingale is replaced by Dobson shortly before the hour mark. A free-kick for the home side is floated into the area and cleared as Andy Hall races forward but the goalkeeper is off his line to claim the ball. The heat has been turned up between these two teams as the tackles fly in. Another Crows change as Hammond replaces Ingrey. A Hall shot is well held by the keeper as Kettering try to regain their earlier lead.
A one-two between Hall and Sandy wins a corner for Kettering. Gooding swings it into the area but Clifton’s header is straight at the keeper. Tommy Hull picks up a booking and concedes a free-kick which Kettering clear and straight on that attack but the final ball can’t quite find Gooding. Another corner for Royston goes close but behind for a goal kick.
GOAL: Its almost end-to-end action but without the final quality finish in front of goal. Dubi Ogbonna comes on to replace Ash Robinson for Kettering with 15 minutes remaining. Dubi Ogbonna robs the defender, races clear and has Sandy Elliot at the far post but opts to shoot left-footed into the far corner. Just over two minutes off the bench and Ogbonna makes it 2-1 to Kettering.
A very uneven tempered match now as it starts to get a little scrappy. McAlindon makes a good fingertip save to push a shot over the crossbar. Ogbonna really putting himself about well and closing down defenders forcing mistakes. The home side pushing men forward to try and get an equaliser, Kettering have to defend solidly, but they could find a chance on the break.
Into the final few minutes here at Garden Walk as Ogbonna finds Wilson who shoots but the keeper holds on well. Kettering holding onto their slender lead as the match moves into stoppage time as Hall fires over the crossbar. Wilson is replaced by Noel-Rebus for the final few seconds of this match. A late corner for Royston as the goalkeeper comes up the field but the ball is claimed by his counterpart McAlindon.
Three minutes of stoppage time is up as the whistle brings a victory for Kettering by the narrowest of margins after a tough encounter against a battling Royston Town at Garden Walk. Ogbonna comes off the bench to seal the win but a decent all round performance by the Poppies players claims a precious three points.
Kettering Town: McAlindon, Clifton, Kinniburgh, Gooding, Solkhon, Lee, Wilson (Noel-Rebus 89), Robinson (Ogbonna 74), Sandy, Hull, Hall. Unused Subs: Taylor, Bukasa, Jepson.
Royston Town: Yates, Bradshaw, Powell, Wharton, Adams (Mentis 81), Stuart Bridges, Scott Bridges, Hart, Nightingale (Dobson 58), Ingrey (Hammond), Fehmi. Unsed Subs: Collins, Endacott.
The Poppies are currently considering a possible bid to return to their 'spiritual home' at Rockingham Road.
Lewis Wilson and James Jepson return to the Poppies. » Former Poppies Lewis Wilson and James Jepson return to the Poppies.
Kettering Town FC have unveiled an ambitious plan to move back into the Borough with the targeted location being the site of the now closed Avondale Schools.
The transfer of Ross Oulton from Daventry Town was confirmed and goalkeeper Nick Bennion from St Ives also comes to the Poppies as Alastair Worby is unsure of his availability for the coming season due to work commitments.
Poppies Club President Sid Chapman has passed away after a long illness. Sid was a life-long Poppies fan and has been associated with the Poppies in some way or another for many decades, including a long spell as groundsman at Rockingham Rd.
Royston Town 1
Kettering Town 2
Kettering Town 2
Gooding 25 pen
Lincoln Utd 1
Kettering Town 0
Coventry City follow in the footsteps of the Poppies as they prepare to leave their current landlords at Ricoh Arena and groundshare at Sixfields, home of Northampton Town ..
Pompey's administrator Trevor Birch promptly issued a statement branding the League's decision "very harsh" and hopes it can be reversed. He said: "We are extremely disappointed that the Football League has decided to impose yet another penalty on the club.
This Saturday 7th July, Poppies Radio will be broadcasting live from Nene Park to cover the new season's opening friendly fixture against Southend Manor.