Sluggish Poppies well beaten, 4-1 away to Stratford TownApr 15th, 2017
Stratford Town 4
Kettering Town 1
After a fairly comfortable 3-0 victory over Slough Town last Saturday Kettering Town are now unbeaten in their last five fixtures with three-wins from their last three. This Saturday they travel to Stratford Town looking for a measure of revenge after suffering a 3-0 home defeat back on August Bank Holiday Monday. Kettering have scored three goals in each of their last four league fixtures, a part of their game that had been missing at crucial times during this campaign. The goal scoring form of Rene Howe and Aaron CO’Connor have greatly contributed to the Poppies goal tally and are in the starting lineup today.
GOAL: The match gets underway at a sunny Stratford with the home side in blue and white and the Poppies in red and black stripes. The home side are looking the liveliest in the opening exchanges, the ball is crossed to the far post and its a free header calmly dispatched by George Forsyth and a sloppy-looking Poppies defence left White totally exposed to concede after just three minutes.
GOAL: What is it about this Kettering side that makes then such slow starters? The game has gone very quiet and has the atmosphere of a preseason fixture. Rene Howe is shown the yellow card. Jon is offside but misses the target anyway as Kettering are starting to wake up after a very slow start. A through ball from Hornby and Ben Baker slips it under the onrushing Cooper and into the net, it’s 1-1.
Thomas makes a good block from Aaron O’Connor as Kettering are suddenly springing to life following their equaliser. A double chance for Stratford and Paul White rushes out to block the first effort and the follow-up is side footed wide of the target. A very lucky escape for the Poppies and especially Harran who missed the through ball. The goal-scorer for Stratford, George Forsyth, is shown the yellow card for a foul.
A good ball over the top by Jon finds Aaron O’Connor but the angle is a little tight and the shot is cleared off the line by an alert Stratford defender. A very slow start for Kettering but they have finally gotten themselves moving and are starting to create the opportunities with the home side dangerous on the break. The two teams head into the break deadlocked at 1-1. Let’s hope Kettering put in their usual second-half display.
Half-time: Stratford Town 1 Kettering Town 1
GOAL: The second-half gets underway and in the early minutes both teams a little sluggish after their half-time cuppa. Goal-scorer for Stratford, Forsyth is replaced by Fitzharris on 56 minutes. A booking for James Harran for a foul. The free-kick is swung over to the far post and Wayne Thomas making his debut heads past White and into the net. Poppies sleeping again, trail 2-1.
Nial Cooper rushes off his line to take down Jorrin Jon but gets away with just a yellow card. The resultant free-kick for Poppies is wasted with just over an hour gone. Stephens replaced by Taylor for Stratford and a double for Kettering as Jon and J.O’Connor are replaced by Langdon and Bateman on 66 minutes. Into the final twenty minutes, Kettering just not at the races today, looking very sluggish all round in an almost eerie quiet atmosphere.
GOAL: Hicks is replaced by Ethan Lee for Kettering on 75 minutes. Mulligan miss-kicks, Taylor is clear and in a one-on-one with White but he slices it wide of the target. Kettering will really need to liven up to salvage something out of this one in the remaining ten minutes or so. Kettering sloppy again at the back and the ball falls to Jamie Spencer who slots it past White and into the net. It’s all too easy for the home side as Kettering trail 3-1.
GOAL: Back to back corners for Kettering but the ball is eventually scrambled clear by the home defence. Poppies youngster Ethan Lee is shown the yellow card as we head into the final five minutes. Bateman concedes a penalty, flagged by the linesman, and earns a booking. Up steps former Poppy Will Grocott and sends keeper White the wrong way. It’s 4-1 to Stratford and no excuses for Kettering, just a very poor performance, not really in it today.
The final whistle ends Kettering’s misery after a very lacklustre performance and Stratford fully deserve their comprehensive victory and the double over Poppies scoring seven goals in total over the two games. Up next its Cambridge City at Latimer Park on Monday and then Banbury Utd away for Kettering as they see out their final two fixtures of the season.
Kettering Town: White, J.O’Connor, Brighton, Hornby, Hassan, Mulligan, Baker, A.O’Connor, Howe, Hicks, Jorrin. Subs: Bateman, Langdon, Lee, Solkhon.
Stratford Town: Cooper, Fry, Summerfield, Forsyth, Clark, Thomas, Tulloch, Spencer, Stephens, Marsden. Subs: Fitzharris, Martin, Taylor, Ahenkorah, Delfourneso.