Battling Poppies run out 1-0 winners away to Royston Town

Kettering TownRoyston Town

Royston Town 0

Kettering Town 1
Holman 42

A disappointing exit from the FA Trophy last Saturday following a lacklustre performance from Kettering Town allows them to concentrate on the more important league campaign as they travel to nearby Royston Town for a ‘top-of-the-table’ clash this Saturday. The Poppies are still 3pts clear at the top (although Stourbridge play on Tuesday night) and Royston are just 4pts behind in third.

The match gets underway at Sunny Royston with the home side content to test Poppies keeper Paul White from long range and Kettering trying to build from the back but breaking down in the final third for the most part. Another effort from Potton is held well by White and a free kick hits the Poppies wall as the early stages unfold.

Hoenes goes down in the area and after a moments hesitation the referee signals the poppies player was offside. Although it’s to and fro at the moment neither side has really threatened either goal as the defences are keeping their opponents attack at arms length so far this afternoon. O’Connor has the ball in the net but the offside flag rules it out.

Goal!GOAL: Kelly-Evans is booked after some theatrics from the opponent that the referee was taken in by much to the chagrin of the Kettering players and supporters. A corner to Royston is a complete farce and Kettering back on the attack. The ball is played into the path of Dan Holman and the Poppies recent signing makes no mistake to slam it into the net.

Dolman was quickest to react and pounced to score on his league debut for Poppies. Kettering win a corner on the stroke of half-time but the resulting shot is well held by Welch in the home goal. Richens almost has an open goal with the keeper slipping but his hurried shot is well off target. Potton has a chance close-in, White makes the save, is pushed by Castiglione, who is subsequently booked and joined by Corcoran for dissent.

Half-time:   Royston Town 0   Kettering Town 1

The second-half gets underway at Garden Walk as Royston take the kick-off trailing Kettering 1-0. Meikle picks the ball up but his strike is wide of the target. At the other end a decent buildup from Royston but White makes an easy save in the Poppies goal. A big shout by the Poppies players for handball by a Crows defender but the referee waves it away.

The home side make a double change to try and shake things up but it’s Kettering who again threaten to score but the shot goes wide of the target. Hoenes almost makes it two but Welch makes a blocking save from point blank range in the home goal. At the other end White collects from a Royston free-kick as the game ebbs and flows. Into the final 20 minutes or so with Kettering still holding the slender 1-0 advantage.

Royston swap out Corcoran for Corlett. Richens on the end of a good Poppies buildup but his shot curls wide of the target. A Kettering corner goes wide of the upright with nobody able to get the touch that would’ve probably wrapped up the points for Poppies. Welch makes another fine save to keep his team in this one and Kettering have a corner that Welch easily collects.

Kettering turning the screw now to try and get that vital killer second goal. Richens makes an error but he’s rescued by White who makes the save. Just less than ten minutes of normal time for Kettering’s first change as Solkhon comes on to replace Hoenes. A double change as Kelly-Evans and O’Connor are replaced by Rowe-Turner and Milnes for Poppies to try and see out the final few minutes.

A cross comes in and White makes an outstanding good save to protect his side’s lead. At the other end Solkhon can’t quite connect with a header to wrap up the points for Poppies. Into four minutes of time added on as Royston win a corner, cleared, pumped back in and then Holman wins a throw-in to relieve the pressure. It’s all hands to the pump for Poppies as the home side throw everything at them to try and draw level.

Poppies traveling fans looking towards the referee for the final whistle and there it is, Kettering battle away and deservedly come away with a vital win and three points. A great result for Kettering and it’s home to second placed Stourbridge on Tuesday night which should be another tough battle for the Poppies.

Att: 559

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

Royston Town: Welch, Scott-Morris, Joseph, Mentis, Corcoran, Braitwaite, Castiglione, Thomas, Mooney, Potton, Gordon. Subs: Bola, Crowther, Norville-Williams, Corlett, Smart.


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