Sluggish Poppies beaten 4-1 away to newly crowned champions Hereford

Apr 21st, 2018

Kettering Townhereford

Hereford 4
O’Shea 9
Purdie 10
Smith 13 (pen), 68

Kettering Town 1
Stevens 49

Thursday’s win over play-off rivals Weymouth should put Kettering Town in a good frame of mind for today’s trip to champions Hereford. Although the Bulls have clinched the title and Kettering have cemented their play-off spot, both teams will still want to win at Edgar St today. Kettering could finish second if they win out their remaining games and are on a good run of performances heading into their final fixtures.

Goal!GOAL: A good start at Edgar St for Kettering as Stevens just beaten by the whistle from opening the scoring and O’Connor almost beats the keeper but a foul is given against him. Paul White does well to tip over an effort for a corner, but the cross finds Hereford’s O’Shea and he drills it into the bottom corner. Hereford 1-0 up on nine minutes.

Goal!GOAL: Almost straight from the restart Kettering trail 2-0 as they don’t seem to defend well as Purdie climbs to head a good cross past White and into the top corner. 10 minutes gone, Kettering already 2-0 down and looking shell-shocked right now.

Goal!GOAL: Things go from bad to worse for the Poppies as they concede a penalty and find themselves 3-0 down after conceding three goals in the space of FOUR minutes. Far too quick for the Poppies lumbering defence and Reyfell is brought down, no mistake from the spot-kick by Smith. Barring a miracle, it’s already game over at Edgar St.

It may be the 5th game in nine days for Kettering but they should have enough players to be able to rotate them through and at least put up a defence. So far that’s not looking the case and they are facing a hammering at this pace. Bateman heads clear and at the other end Howe plays in Solkhon but his strike from distance is not on target. Howe heads wide from a corner as Kettering begin to recover their composure.

Kettering appear to have steadied the ship (albeit 3 goals down) and the play has setlled down after the frantic opening that saw the Poppies defence torn apart by the newly crowned champions who are no doubt out to enjoy their afternoon in the sunshine. Poppies show their frustration as Rene Howe is shown the yellow card for a late challenge. Richens follows Howe into the referees notepad as we approach half-time.

Half-time:   Hereford 3   Kettering Town 0

A poor half for the Poppies and a disastrous 4 minutes when they were all over the place. Credit to the hosts though who took full advantage to create a cushion for themselves in the second-half. A minor miracle needed for Kettering and a total collapse from their hosts if the Poppies are to come away with anything from Edgar St this afternoon. Changes at the break for Poppies, Howe and Richens replaced by Hoenes and Carvalho.

Goal!GOAL: Well, well … a good start to the second-half for Kettering as they get a goal back to give the traveling support something to cheer about. Stevens does the initial good work, finds Carvalho who crosses, Solkhon hits the post, Matty Stevens smashes in the rebound. Kettering only two-goals behind and looking much more awake than they did in the first 45 minutes.

Two corners for Poppies as they begin to find their rhythm but the home defence are not likely to turn off to that extent and both are cleared. Puddy collects another cross into the Hereford box, Kettering warming up a third switch, another forward with Meikle replacing Milnes. The tannoy announces a record attendance at Edgar St, probably not all here to see the Poppies?

Goal!GOAL: Oh dear .. comeback over? Just when Kettering were pressing for a second a break by the Bulls defender is cfrossed into the area and again the home striker Smith is quickest to react and turn the ball into the net. It’s 4-1 to Hereford and barring the odd consolation goal for Poppies that is probably it as far as the result goes.

Kettering are still plugging away at Edgar St but the home side are comfortably in front and no need to expend themselves committing players forward. Into the final few minutes at Edgar St as a rare second-half shot from the hosts clears the crossbar and possibly the stand too. Hoenes surges into the area with the ball at his feet but keeper Puddy sticks out a foot to make the stop. White spills a shot but the rebound is blasted high by Smith, let-off for Poppies.

There goes the final whistle. A deserved win by Hereford after devastating the Poppies in a four minute first-half spell when they scored three goals. Kettering came out for the second-half a much better team than the first and at least got what turned out to be a consolation goal but couldn’t recover from that early set back. Two home fixtures left for the Poppies to work out their play-off position.

Att: 4,556

Kettering Town: White, Solkhon, Pendley, Bateman, Marshall, Richens, Stevens, O’Connor, Milnes, Howe, Stohrer. Subs: Mulligan, Meikle, Hoenes, Carvalho, Willimont.

Hereford: Puddy, Oates, Pring, Richards, O’Shea, Liburd, Refell, Purdie, Smith, McGrath, Myrie-Williams. Subs: Mills, Horsell, Symons, Haysham, Deaman.