Sloppy Poppies beaten 2-1 at home to Cambridge CitySep 18th, 2012
Kettering Town 1
Cambridge City 2
Hammond 85, 88
Kettering Town host fellow strugglers Cambridge City at Nene Park on Tuesday night in a bottom of the table clash. City are just one spot above Kettering having gained a point more from their seven league matches, although the gap is actually 11 points because of the -10pts penalty. Poppies supporters will no doubt view this match-up as their best chance of getting their first win so far, but Kettering will need to find the net on a more consistent basis than they have managed so far.
GOAL: Kettering playing in their usual red and black home strip and Ben Gathercole gets the nod over Laurie Walker in goal for tonight’s match. Gele Pacome finally has been cleared to play and also gets a start. Poppies break forward from the kick-off after City lose possession, Warren Byerley finds Ed Palmer 25yds out who looks up and smashes a superb strike into the top corner of the net. Less than sixty seconds gone and Kettering are 1-0 up at home to Cambridge City.
Another break and this time a superb save from the visiting keeper Barrett denies what looked like a second goal for Kettering who have made a really promising start to this one. At the other end Poppies keeper Gathercole has to be alert to deny an effort on target from City and then comes out commandingly to collect a cross from out wide. After the frantic start things have calmed down a littler and it’s a lot more even with both sides now settling into the match.
Midway through the first-half and a corner whipped into the Poppies area by ex-Poppy Theobald eludes any form of contact and goes behind for a goal-kick to Kettering. Barret saves with his feet as Pacome just overruns the ball after beating a defender for pace. Pacome finds space, strikes an effort but miscues and Barret comfortably collects the miss-hit slow rolling ball. Another whipped in cross eludes everyone when just a touch could easily have been the equaliser for City.
Kettering scrambling as first Gathercole turns an effort away and then Gerring blocks the ball as a second attempt comes in on the Poppies goal in quick succession. A ball played in by Griffiths almost finds the head of Pacome but the referee blows for a foul on keeper Barrett. Phil Ifil turns the ball behind for a corner which is played in and a strike on the half-volley goes narrowly wide from the edge of the area. Gerring blocks another effort from the visitors and the referee blows for offside as the ball is played back into the Poppies area.
Half-time: Kettering Town 1 Cambridge City 0
The second-half gets underway and Kettering looking to build on their first-half lead. No substitutions at the break from either side. A snap-shot from City’s top scorer Craig Hammond almost caught Gathercole napping but just cleared the Poppies crossbar. A good header forward found Bryant who plays in Hammond but the City striker spurns the chance to equalise and only finds the side netting. Gerring makes a last ditch tackle and the rebound is deflected behind for a corner. The ball played in is eventually cleared by Kettering after a goalmouth scramble and another scare on the Poppies goal.
Gele Pacome makes way for David Mayo as manager Beck makes his first change for Kettering. Cambridge press again and Gerring deflects the ball over the crossbar and as the corner is played in Byerley heads clear. Kettering under a little pressure from the visitors in the last ten minutes or so as they push forward in numbers to try and get back on level terms. Burns makes a cross but it eludes his team mates and at the other end Burns reacts quickly to block Bryant’s effort on goal.
Gerring heads behind for a corner as the ball is played into the Poppies area. The ball is played into the far post but to the relief of the home support Oscar Radford heads clear. Midway through the second-half and it’s been the visitors having most of the play and certainly most of the chances but so far Kettering still lead by that wonder strike by Palmer in the first minute of the match. Palmer tries his luck again but this time the ball swerves just past the right-hand upright. Mayo miscues when it seemed easier to score after beating his marker inside the area. Better stuff from Kettering in the last few minutes.
Oscar Radford makes a last ditch clearance off the line after Gathercole makes a bit of a hash of Hammond’s shot on target. Adrian Cambridge is replaced by David Prada for City. Burns crosses but Mayo is given offside as Kettering hit back on the counter-attack. Phil Ifil concedes the corner and the ball is played in but goes behind for a goal-kick. Yet another corner for the visitors with fifteen minutes remaining but again they waste a good opportunity and Kettering able to clear upfield.
GOAL: Beck makes a second substitution as Michael King is replaced by Joel Gyasi. City make a change as Christian Leicester replaces Robbie Nightingale. Leicester has a first touch and almost scores but can’t properly connect with the ball to make it count with under ten minutes remaining. A break for City and Craig Hammond picks up the ball with appeals for offside waved away and strokes it into the net past a stranded Gathercole. A sloppy goal brings the visitors level with five minutes left on the clock.
GOAL: City break again and again it looks suspiciously offside as that man Craig Hammond repeats his earlier feat and slots the ball past Gathercole and into the net. Poor, poor defending by Kettering after doing so well for 85 minutes of the match. Heartbreak for Kettering after holding onto their slender lead since the first minute, but they ave only themselves to blame with some very poor defending right at the death.
Bryant is replaced by former Poppy Niel Midgeley with normal time virtually up. There goes the final whistle and it’s another defeat for Kettering. Great start, battled well under the cosh until the final five minutes and then collapsed to go down 2-1 at the death. The visitors controlled the second-half and John Beck couldn’t do anything to shake his side up and they paid the price after managing to soak up all the pressure until the very end. Another disappointing night for Kettering and it’s not looking good after losing to the team above them at home.
Kettering Town: Gathercole, P.Ifil, Lamplough, Palmer, Gerring, Radford, Burns, King (Gyasi 80), Pacome, (Mayo 55), Byerley, Griffiths (Blazio 85). Unused Subs: Hervel, Walker.
Cambridge City: Barrett, Pepper, Brighton, Theobald, Chaffey, Nightingale (Lester 81), Allen, Cambridge, (Prada 70), Hammond, Bryant (Midgley 90+3), Abbs. Unused Subs: Bexfield, Dekanski.