Lack-lustre Poppies beaten 2-0 at Chesham Utd

Feb 24th, 2018

Kettering TownChesham Utd

Chesham Utd 2
Toomey 68
Bush 79

Kettering Town 0

After two solid wins for 4th-placed Kettering Town it’s a tough task to make it three-in-a-row in a trip to 5th-placed Chesham Utd. Rene Howe starts on the bench for the Poppies as Tom Marshall keeps his starting role alongside Stevens and top scorer O’Connor.

Chesham get the match underway, early pressure from O’Connor and Stevens, both vying for the top goalscorer spot but the keeper collects and at the other end Solkhon clears his lines with a solid header. O’Connor plays a ball in, an appeal for handball but the referee waves play on. Ten minutes gone and the best chance so far for Poppies as a Stevens header crashes onto the crossbar.

Kettering continue to have the clearer chances as both O’Connor and Marshall see headers fly over the crossbar, but after twenty minutes it’s still goal-less. A Chesham corner is cleared and straight down the other end as the keeper just gets a hand to the ball as Hoenes tries to round him. Matty Stevens goes into the referee’s notebook for a foul as the game meanders to half-time.

A spark of life there as Poppies keeper White almost concedes a goal as he tries to cover the ball but the striker beats him to it, fires across goal, but Toseland, to the relief of his goalkeeper, clears the danger. It’s been a fairly quiet first 45 minutes with the odd moments of interest but apart from the woodwork being rattled a couple of times it remains goal less.

Half-time:   Chesham Utd 0   Kettering Town 0

The second-half gets underway but progressing the same way as the latter stages of the first 45 with neither side really creating a clear-cut opportunity. Kettering continuing to battle away but not showing the fluent attacking prowess of the previous two matches where they score a combined nine goal without reply. Stevens is replaced by Howe on the hour mark.

Goal!GOAL: Kettering piling on the pressure with back to back corners as Howe flashes a header across the goal but it’s eventually cleared. Despite the Poppies pressure they’ve failed to make it count and inevitably have paid the price as the host take the lead, albeit a little bit undeserved to be honest. Kettering caught napping at the back as the cross comes in and its slotted past White.

Hoenes is caught late and the perpetrator receives a yellow card as we head into the final twenty minutes. Kettering’s clinical finishing of recent matches appears to have deserted them and they’ll need to regain it to get something out of this one. Meikle is replaced by Richens for the final 15 minutes or so, can he produce the necessary spark for what has been a lack-lustre display in front of goal today from Kettering.

Goal!GOAL: Oh dear, oh dear. Kettering defence all at sea as a quck break again catches them napping and a through ball down the middle is finished with aplomb as White is lobbed and it’s 2-0 to Chesham. Kettering may have had the majority of play but the home side giving them a lesson in taking their chances when the opportunity presents itself.

The home side have Kettering on the rack as the Poppies heads have dropped and it could easily get worse before the final whistle. Metcalf comes on to replace Solkhon but Poppies need a minor miracle to get anything out of this one now. Into three minutes stoppage time but to be honest, this game was over as soon as the host’s second goal hit the back of the net. The final whistle ending a poor display from the Poppies in a 2-0 defeat and well done to Chesham.

It was a case of after the lord mayor’s show for Kettering as they struggled to repeat the clinical finishing of their last two matches and suffered accordingly as their host twice caught them on the break and gave them a demonstration of what they were lacking today. It was a poor defeat for Poppies in the respect that they have allowed the chasing pack a glimmer of hope in reaching the play-offs. Next up is Dorchester Town at home next Saturday.

Att: 409

Kettering Town: White, Thomas, Toseland, Solkhon, Mulligan, Pendly, Meikle, Hoenes, O’Connor, Stevens, Marhsall. Subs: Howe, Metcalf, Richens, Stohrer, Bateman.

Chesham Utd: Al-Droubi, Crilley, Smaldone, Bevans, Murphy, Green, Hutton, Watkins, Bush, Toomey, Swales. Subs: Louis, Shamsi, Bates, hall, Dhillon.