Frail Poppies beaten 4-3 away to Royston Town

Feb 3rd, 2018

Kettering TownRoyston Town

Royston Town 4
Marriott 32 pen
Bridges 35
Castiglione 63
Gordon 86

Kettering Town 3
Meikle 3
Stevens 42
Solkhon 66 pen

Knocked off the top spot in midweek, Kettering Town can only win their own matches and keep plugging away hoping the others around them slip up. The win that took current leaders King’s Lynn to the top was against bookies title favourites Hereford, so anything could happen before the end of the season.Today’s trip to Royston Town will be another tough test of their title credentials

Goal!GOAL: The match gets underway at Garden Walk on a very wet afternoon and Kettering are pressing forward from the whistle. The early pressure pays off as Toseland crosses for Howe to play a good ball into Lindon Meikle who fires home from 20yds via a slight deflection. Three minutes gone and the Poppies are off to a great start, 1-0 up.

A frantic start but its gone a little flat with both teams battling in the middle but not really creating openings. Hoenes surges forward but is chopped down and quite rightly the perpetrator receives a yellow card. Kettering win a corner but O’Connor heads it over the crossbar. Toseland concedes a free-kick but the Poppies defence clears well.

Goal!GOAL: Kettering wina corner but it comes to nothing. At the other end Royston force their own corner and as the ball comes in Mulligan is adjudged to have handled by the referee and Royston have a penalty. It’s fired past White by Marriott and the home side are level at 1-1.

Goal!GOAL: Mulligan also received a booking for that handball incident that led to the hosts an equaliser. White makes a good save as the hosts are buoyed by their goal. Kettering caught napping again on the counter and this time White can’t save them. From 1-0 up to 2-1 down in three minutes. Bridges fires past White high into the top corner.

Goal!GOAL: Almost an immediate response from Kettering but Hoenes can’t finish despite beating the keeper after he was played in by O’Connor. It’s raining goals this afternoon at a wet Royston as Matty Stevens fires the Poppies level after a succession of corners. Heading into the break it’s 2-2.

Half-time:   Royston Town 2   Kettering Town 2

A decent first 45 minutes from Kettering but went to sleep for a five minute spell and the hosts scored two goals. This second-half needs the same approach in attack but a little more focus in defence. A fairly subdued second period so far as Kettering clear a corner from a Paul White save and Thomas’ cross just skims the top of the net for Poppies.

Goal!GOAL: It’s not been the best of afternoon’s for the Poppies defence and it turns worse as they conceded a third. Royston break well and good build up play sees them waltz past the Poppies back line and White is well beaten. It’s 3-2 to Royston and Kettering are in trouble.

Goal!GOAL: Kettering aren’t in trouble for long. Hoenes goes through and the keeper brings him down. An easy decision for the referee and he gets it right. Penalty to Kettering. Up steps Brett Solkhon and he scores to bring Kettering back on level terms at 3-3 with 66 minutes gone.

Goal!GOAL: Kettering have woken up out of their slumber with that penalty and come close to taking the lead but Toseland’s cross in headed wide by Stevens. Not exactly end to end stuff but a few decent half-chances for both sides. The frailty of the Poppies defence is exposed again and this tiem the usually solid Paul White is at fault as the ball goes through his legs and into the net. It’s 4-3 to Royston and that could be curtains for Poppies.

With the other teams at the top winning Kettering couldn’t afford to slip up but they’ve been leaking goals this afternoon and it could cost them more than just the loss of three points as time is running out. Howe heads straight at the keeper and that was probably the Poppies final chance to salvage anything. There goes the final whistle and possibly also Kettering’s title chances. A poor afternoon’s display and the frailty of the defence cruelly exposed for all to see.

Att: 410

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

Royston Town: Tibbets, Scott-Morriss, Guaghan, Bridges, Murray, Brathwaite, Corcoran, Thomas, Marriott, Frendo, Castiglione. Subs: Rohdell, Powell, Canham, Hobbs, Hankins.