Sluggish Poppies beaten 3-2 away to Basingstoke Town

Jan 6th, 2018

Kettering TownBasingstoke Town

Kettering Town 2
O’Connor 82
Stevens 84

Basingstoke Town 3
Smart 29
Bunting 65, 90

After Monday’s crucial win sent Kettering Town back to the top of the table the hard part is staying there. Today’s trip to strugglers Basingstoke Town will be another tricky fixture to navigate with the Poppies hoping to maintain their winning form to keep them above everyone else as long as possible.

The match gets underway and the two teams take time to settle into a quiet opening period. Argent gets his head to a cross but White makes an excellent save for the Poppies. Hoenes had an early half-chance that went wide but the home side having the better of the early exchanges so far and White is the busier of the two keepers.

Goal!GOAL: Kettering are looking a little sluggish so far and the home side are taking good advantage as White saves from Bayliss. Another Basingstoke attack as Wright finds Sam Smart in the area and he pokes the ball past White and into the net. Poppies trail 1-0 and the home side looking good for their lead at this stage in the proceedings.

Not that it was exactly a riveting game in the first place but the tempo seems very low, especially from the Poppies who will need a much better second period to get back into this one. Trailing 1-0 at the break, they haven’t really threatened the home goal and their hosts looking fairly comfortable going into the half-time break.

Half-time:   Basingstoke Town 1   Kettering Town 0

It’s no good winning the top of the table clashes if they turn straight around and lose to the lower level teams and Kettering must shake off their malaise and come out much more focused in the second-half. Five minutes after the restart and Kettering don’t appear to have upped the tempo so far. Someone needs to shake them up before this one becomes one to forget for the traveling faithful.

Plenty of huffing and puffing but just no quality from either side now as the match becomes very scrappy. Kettering plugging away but can’t produce that necessary piece of quality play that will get them back into the match. Kettering certainly showed some character to beat the Linnets on Monday but do they have the character to produce results even when they aren’t playing well.

Goal!GOAL: Basingstoke should’ve been down to ten men there as Atkinson’s late challenge saw him escape with a warning when he’d already been booked earlier and could easily have been dismissed by the referee. Kettering really are looking sluggish today throughout the whole team and another attack from the home side ends in the Poppies going 2-0 down. Bunting clean through and rounds White to calmly slot it into the empty net. All too easy for Basingstoke.

Goal!GOAL: Into the final twenty minutes, the home side looking very comfortable for their 2-0 lead. It will take something very different for the Poppies to get anything out of this one as they are just not at the races today. Atkinson is replaced by Hollamby for Basingstoke. Finally a little bit of luck as Aaron O’Connor scuffs his shot but it beats McAdden in the home goal.

Goal!GOAL: Would you believe it. Having played very poorly for the majority of the match, Kettering suddenly spark into life. Within seconds of the restart after O’Connor reduced the deficit, they are back on level terms at 2-2 with substitute Matty Stevens scoring the equaliser.

Goal!GOAL: Having surprisingly come back from two goals down to look like they would at least earn a point, Kettering have let it slip right before the final whistle. Conceding a free-kick that’s whipped in by Wright the Poppies defence leave Bunting to alone at the far post to head past the exposed White.

Having not really had a worthwhile shot for the first 80 minutes, Kettering came back to score twice and level within minutes of the end of the match but just had enough time to concede a third and lose 3-2. A very disappointing performance for the Poppies who just weren’t up for it today. Not the way champions win league titles for sure and a clear reminder as King’s Lynn knock the Poppies off the top spot. A trip to Tiverton Town for Poppies to hopefully regain their composure on Tuesday night.

Att: 422

Kettering Town: White, Bateman, Toseland, Solkhon, Marshall, Hoenes, Stohrer, O’Connor, Milnes, Howe, Meikle. Subs: Akindi, Barker, Stevens. Thomas, Bradshaw.

Basingstoke Town: McAdden, Wohlfiel, Goater, Kennedy, Demuria, Bayliss, Bunting, Atkinson, Wright, Smart, Argent. Subs: Hollamby, Hunt, Batchelor, Long, Geo.