Poppies away to Hitchin Town ends in stalemate

Kettering TownHitchin Town

Hitchin Town 0

Kettering Town 0

A little more consistency in their results sees Kettering Town climbing back into contention at the top of the table. Today’s opponents Hitchin Town will provide a sterner test that recent fixtures and the Poppies must maintain their run of results heading into the important festive period fixtures.

The match gets underway as the two sides get to grips with each other. A double booking as a scuffle sparks early excitement, with Hoenes for Poppies and Kirkpatrick for Hitchin ending up in the referee’s notebook. I wouldn’t exactly say its end to end stuff but chances are starting to be created as Howe fires over the crossbar and White races out to clear a through ball, is flattened by Vincent who receives a yellow card.

Just over half-an-hour gone and the half-chances are still sporadic. Hitchin keeper Johnson gets down well to collect and at the other end White watches an effort from Smith go wide of the target. A weak shot from O’Connor doesn’t trouble the keeper and Johnson gathers comfortably. The half-time whistle sounds on subdued match so far with not many clearcut chances.

Half-time:   Hitchin Town 0   Kettering Town 0

The second-half gets underway at Hitchin and they made a half-time change as Howie comes on for Smith. Richens is shown the yellow card for a foul and a free-kick for Hitchin is cleared off the line as the match starts to pick up the tempo a little after a quiet first 45 minutes at Top Field. Howe cleats the ball at one end and then Marshall fires high at the other. The match has plenty of huff and puff but lacking that quality finish still.

The play and officiating at Top Field has deteriorated and this game has 0-0 written all over it unless someone either makes a bad mistake or produces some quality finishing in the remaining half-hour or so. O’Connor through on goal, finds the net, but is ruled out for offside. Poppies make a change as Rhys Hoenes is replaced by Kalern Thomas.

A long range free-kick for the hosts is held by White and Kettering break quickly to earn a corner but it comes to nothing. Stohrer has an effort but again its wide of the target. Both side appear to not be wearing their shooting boots today and with only 5 minutes or so remaining neither side has really done enough to earn all three points. Rene Howe is replaced by Matty Stevens to see out the final few minutes on fresh legs.

A late corner for Kettering, can they snatch a winner, no they can’t as it goes the same way as the previous efforts this afternoon. The final whistle sounds and ends a dull encounter with very little to cheer the watching faithful at Top Field. It’s an away point for Poppies and a clean sheet but not the stuff title contenders are made of and they’ll have to find their scoring boots over the next few matches to be still in contention in the New Year.

Att: 469

Kettering Town: White, Bateman, Toseland, Marshall, Mulligan, Richens, Stohrer, Hoenes, O’Connor, Milnes, Howe. Subs: Akanbi, Thomas, Stevens, Solkhon, Snow.

Hitchin Town: Johnson, Cotter, Syme, Rolfe, Webb, Bickerstaff, Bailey, Kirkpatrick, Vincent, McNamara, Smith. Subs: Donnelly, Dowie, Hartley, Byrne.


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