Solid Poppies comfortable 3-0 winners at home to Slough TownApr 8th, 2017
Kettering Town 3
Slough Town 0
After two victories against bottom four opposition, Kettering Town face a much tougher test as they host fourth-placed Slough Town at Latimer Park on Saturday. Kettering go into the fixture in eighth place but with only four fixtures remaining their priority is just to finish as high as possible and build for next season.
The match gets underway at Latimer Park, Kettering in red and black and Slough in sky blue, with both sides being a little cautious in the opening minutes. This is arguably one game where Kettering cannot afford to be slow out of the blocks and will find it very difficult to mount their usual second-half comeback if they fall behind to today’s hosts who are intent on holding onto their play-off spot in the top five.
The visitors have perhaps settled the quicker of the two and are starting to probe the Poppies defence as the home side defend well at a corner and watch a free-kick fly high over the goal. Kettering are sitting back and being patient for now. looking for that opportunity to hit the visitors on the counter attack. A long range effort from Canavan is blocked by a defender as Kettering start to settle into the game more.
Not quite end-to-end but a corner for Kettering is cleared and Slough win back-to-back corners which the Poppies defence comfortably clear. Liam Enver Marum earns the wrath of the referee who shows him the yellow card on 36 minutes. Perhaps the best chance of the first-half comes on 42 minutes with a free header at the far post for Slough but it’s wide of the target.
Half-time: Kettering Town 0 Slough Town 0
GOAL: The second-half gets underway and the home side starts brightly with a corner met by Langdon but straight at the keeper. Minutes later the home side take the lead as James Brighton heads past the keeper after he was setup by a header from Rene Howe. Great team work finds the Poppies 1-0 up on 51 minutes. Are we really that much of a second-half team?
GOAL: Rene Howe a little too enthusiastic there and is shown the yellow card on 56 minutes. Kettering in the ascendancy as Kelly’s cross is deflected for a corner and for a moment it loked liked Slough had cleared but up popped Liam Canavan to hook the ball into the net. It’s almost on the hour mark and Kettering lead 2-0 at home to promotion-chasing Slough Town.
James Dobson is booked for Slough as the visitor’s frustration shows. Rene Howe heads into the net but the celebrations are cut short as the referee blows up for a foul. Kettering are really on top at the moment but there are still 25 minutes remaining. The home fans certainly the happier of the two sets of supporters as they watch their side take a 2-0 lead in the afternoon sunshine at Latimer Park. Howe leaps highest but his header cannons back off the crossbar.
It’s time for changes by Slough as Dobson and Flood are replaced by Bunting and Putman on 73 minutes. Poppies keeper Paul White picks up a yellow card as we head into the final 15 minutes of normal time. Brighton’s long range strike flies harmlessly over the crossbar for Poppies. Kettering make a change as James Haran is replaced by Ben Baker for the final 10 minutes.
Aaron O’Connor makes way for James Hall for the last five minutes of normal time with the Poppies still leading 2-0. Time almost up and Kettering are seeing out the game with a two-goal cushion. Another slow start but again another good second-half performance from Kettering with Rene Howe showing he still has plenty of appetite for the game with another solid display. Let’s hope he remains in a Poppies shirt next season.
GOAL: Well, well. As if on cue, Rene Howe makes it 3-0 to Kettering. The Poppies attack and the initial chance is repulsed by stretching hand from the Slough keeper, but that man Rene Howe pops up to curl the ball past the keeper and into the net. A deserved goal from the Poppies man-of-the-match and it secures the win beyond doubt for Kettering with normal time now up.
There goes the final whistle as Kettering run out fairly comfortable 3-0 winners at home to promotion-chasing Slough Town. Another fine second-half display and three goals capped off by a curler from Rene Howe gave the home support plenty to cheer about despite their disappointing season. With an away game against Stratford Town next Saturday and just two more fixtures after that, Kettering are hoping to at least maintain their top ten place.