Fading Poppies comfortably beaten 3-0 away to LeamingtonMar 7th, 2017
Thompson-Brown 9, 70pen
Kettering Town 0
Arguably, the best opportunity for Kettering Town to come away from title challengers Leamington with any kind of a result was lost when the floodlights failed and the match was abandoned several weeks ago with Kettering leading 1-0 and looking fairly comfortable. Since then, the Brakes have continued to cement their play-off spot and although 7 points behind the leaders they still have two games in hand. In the meantime the Poppies seem to have given up on their own, admittedly outside chances, of a play-off spot and recent results have highlighted their defensive frailties.
GOAL: The match gets underway at Leamington’s Harbury Lane ground and the home side are immediately on the attack to put the Poppies under pressure. Some poor defending from Kettering allows Thompson-Brown a clear sight of the goal and he beats Gooch to make it 1-0 with just 9 minutes gone.
GOAL: The home side still in the ascendancy and looking for a second as Kettering struggling to stem the tide. A corner is played into the area and all alone with plenty of time to pick his spot is ex-Poppies Courtney Baker-Richardson who fires home to make it 2-0 with 19 minutes gone.
Two-goals adrift with just twenty minutes gone it already looks all but over for the Poppies and their frail-looking defence. Rene Howe is fouled but the referee has other ideas and promptly issues a lecture to the bewildered Poppies striker. Gooch definitely the busier of the two keepers as yet again he’s left over-exposed by his own defence but manages a fine save.
Hicks wins a corner right on the stroke of half-time, swung in by Brighton and it goes through a crowd but Kelly unable to convert as he stumbled right in front of goal and the ball ran harmlessly to the Brake’s keeper. Probably Kettering’s best chance but the opportunity was spurned and after a very poor start they have looked a lot better but failed to convert their half-chances.
Half-time: Leamington 2 Kettering Town 0
The match gets underway again, no changes from either side so far, Kettering have the wind at their backs and will need all the help they can get to salvage anything out of this one. Mulligan concedes a free-kick and earns a yellow card from the referee much to his dismay. Aaron O’Connor is booked by the referee for shirt pulling and the Poppies traveling faithful certainly not impressed by the officials display so far this evening.
A triple switch for Kettering as Jorrin Jon, Brett Solkhon and Liam Canavan replace Hicks, Hall and Hornby. Gooch races out to clear a through ball, slips, but it rescued by Kelly. A good save by Gooch prevents what would’ve been game over for sure, although with time running out Kettering need a goal themselves soon to stand a chance of salvaging something from this one.
GOAL: Corner to the brakes, in comes the ball and Jack Kelly is adjudged to have held a home player down and the referee points to the penalty spot. Jack Kelly is shown the yellow card and up steps to fire home past poor Gooch and it’s 3-0. That’s surely game over for Kettering if it wasn’t already.
Another strange decision from the officials and another yellow card, this time it’s Rene Howe in the book. Ben George replaces Richard Taundry for Brakes. A rare booking for a home player as Aaron O’Connor is fouled. Kelly swings it into the area, come out, swung in again and eventually another free kick on the edge of the box for Kettering that is wasted by Brighton who pulls it wide of the target. Another corner, another spurned chance for Kettering.
Just not in the game tonight and a third defeat in a row for Kettering as their season appears to be fading dramatically after a decent run midway through the campaign that had fans dreaming of a play-off spot at the end of the season. It looks more like mid-table mediocrity which is more a reflection of recent performances. Saturday they host St Ives Town at Latimer park, a chance to at least provide some relief from the poor results.