Toothless Poppies beaten 3-0 at home to Concord Rangers in FAT 1st Qual RoundSep 29th, 2012
Kettering Town 0
Concord Rangers 3
The FA Cup defeat at Boston Utd last Saturday was the start of another highly eventful week for crisis club Kettering Town as there were several departures from the club leaving them very stretched going into this Saturday’s FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round fixture at home to Concord Rangers. From all reports Manager John Beck was also apparently one of those departing which would account for Alan Doyle (chief scout) is in charge for today’s fixture.
GOAL: Kettering off to a decent start at Nene Park but sadly their lack of finishing is again evident as they struggle to punish their visitors for allowing them the openings. Spurning several chances early Kettering were guilty of being wasteful in front of goal and paid the price themselves on 20 minutes when Harry Elms header put Rangers ahead from almost their first real chance.
Some really poor officiating isn’t helping Kettering’s cause but Fair play to Rangers who are sticking to their game plan of frustrating the Poppies without really showing much willingness to commit men forward. They did however take their opportunity when presented and Kettering continue to struggle, as they have done all season, when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net.
Half-time: Kettering Town 0 Concord Rangers 1
GOAL: The second-half gets underway and almost immediately Kettering are having to defend from a corner. The ball is played short and as the shot comes in Laurie Walker makes a good save to keep his side from going further behind. The ball is played back in again and this time some poor defending by Kettering as they fail to pickup and close down Steve King who heads past the exposed Walker and into the net and 2-0 to Rangers.
Kettering really up against it now and looking likely to exit both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy on consecutive Saturdays. Micheal King has a good sight on goal but the keeper goes down and somehow scrambles it clear after spilling the initial shot. Pacome has a chance but his shot is cleared off the line as Kettering battle to try and get back into the tie early in the second period.
Into the final thirty minutes with Kettering heading out of the FA Trophy at the 1st Qualifying Round stage if the scores remains as it currently is, 2-0 to the visitors, Concord Rangers. The visitors make their second substitution as they settle into defending their 2-0 lead and the onus is on Kettering to try and get back into the tie. That’s not looking likely at this stage with the Poppies failure to finish still their main problem.
The home side press forward in numbers but can’t deliver a good enough ball to get a shot on target and Rangers easily clear the danger. After a foul, a melee ensues and Michael King is shown the yellow card as Kettering’s frustration begins to show. An appalling display by the officials is only counter-balanced by the fact it’s affecting both sides although the visitors being 2-0 up late on won’t be quite as upset as the home side are. Pacome finds some space after being played in by Bonnet-Johnson but fires wide of the target.
GOAL: Into the final ten minutes of the tie and Elms breaks clear but Walker does well to deny a third for the the visitors with a good save. Hallet picks up the ball for Rangers and easily slips between the two Poppies defenders who are completely beaten to leave Walker exposed again and this time Jason Hallet rounds Walker and fires into the net. 3-0 to Rangers and that’s game over for Kettering.
Kettering have again been undone by their lack of finishing and this time it was sadly accompanied by some poor defending. No doubt to some extent the off field activities are weighing on the players and draining any confidence they might have had going into this tie. Rangers for their part have stuck to their game plan and worked hard for this victory, taking their chances when presented with clinical finishing. The final whistle ends Kettering’s misery, or at least for this match, as the off field misery continues to diminish the chances of a Kettering recovery from their dire situation.