Goal-shy Poppies earn 0-0 draw away to StourbridgeSep 5th, 2012
Kettering Town 0
Kettering Town travel to 6th placed Stourbridge on Wednesday night with the tough task to come away with all three points in what would be their first win of the season, following a defeat and four draws from their opening five league fixtures. However, to achieve a win they must out-score a team that has found the net thirteen times in their opening five league matches, compared to the Poppies meagre tally of just four goals so far this season.
The home side having most of the chances in the early stages and Poppies keeper Laurie Walker is being tested from all angles as Kettering struggle to retain possession for any decent length of time. Walker stretches to deny Stourbridge the lead and has to get down sharply to keep out another strike on goal from the busier home attack.
With a half-hour gone it’s been mostly one way traffic in terms of strikes on goal but the scoreline remains 0-0 thanks mainly to the alertness of Poppies keeper Walker who has so far kept his team on level terms at the War Memorial Athletic Ground. Sam Smith gets shown the yellow card as the Stourbridge defender brings down Byerley. Rock pulled back by Phil Ifil who gets shown the yellow card by the referee. Omar Beckles can’t continue and is replaced by Joel Giassi for Kettering heading into the half-time break.
Half-time: Stourbridge 0 Kettering Town 0
Not much in the way of clear chances for Kettering or at least not on target and despite several decent efforts from the home side it’s still 0-0 heading into the hour mark. Palmer clears with a big boot upfield as a scramble in area causes a minor panic amongst the Poppies defence.
Into the final fifteen minutes of normal time with the game still scoreless. Kettering are trying to create something but not quite turning effort into chances despite more pressure on the home goal than the first 45 minutes. All that’s really missing is the final quality ball to produce a clear-cut opportunity and with 10 minutes left it could still go either way at this stage in the match.
Still locked at 0-0 with five minutes remaining and Kettering are lofting high balls into the Stourbridge area but not really getting anywhere. At the other end the home side seem to have faded from their earlier attacking prowess when they looked very dangerous coming forward and haven’t created much themselves in the last half-hour or so. A final throw of the dice as Dovey comes on to replace Broadhurst for Stourbridge within a few minutes left of normal time.
Kettering break fast but the ball just rolls through to the keeper before any Poppies player can connect. At the other end Kettering have to defend again and a shot flies high over the crossbar. Griffiths doesn’t connect cleanly and the keeper collects without any problems as another half-chance is spurned for Kettering to snatch a victory. Walker watches as a shot flies well wide of the target deep into time added-on. Plenty of late drama as both teams seem to be throwing caution to the wind to try and get a last gasp winner.
The referee finally blows his whistle to bring the curtain down on Kettering’s fifth draw in six matches. Under the cosh in the early first-half exchanges, Kettering fought their way back into it and had arguably the better of the second 45 minutes but not really producing that final clinical ball. A point away to Stourbridge is probably not too bad on the whole, but Kettering are still looking for their first victory of the season with six league matches now completed.