Battling Poppies go down 2-0 away to Aldershot Town in FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round

Oct 20th, 2018

Kettering TownAldershot Town

Aldershot Town 2
Rendell 16
McDonnell 80

Kettering Town 0

Following a solid second-half performance on Saturday Kettering Town were a little lacklustre on Tuesday night in a goal-less draw at Tamworth. Today they make the switch to the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round when they travel to Hampshire to take on Conference outfit Aldershot Town.

Goal!GOAL: A fairly quiet opening fifteen minutes with not much in the way of threat on either goal to be honest. A minute later and all that’s changed as Howells attempt is blocked, McDonnell’s effort is parried by White but it fell invitingly for Rendell to slot home from close in. With 16 minutes gone the home side lead 1-0.

Almost an immediate response but Kelly’s cross is headed over the crossbar by Richens. An effort from Meikle floats wide of the upright and a Kelly cross is cleared by the Shots defence as Kettering work hard to get back on level terms. Hoenes’ effort is blocked and at the other end White comes out to snuff out the danger from a cross into the area.

Good build up play but the end product from Meikle is well wide. More good build up play from Kettering but this time Kelly-Evans can’t quite connect with Rowe-Turners cross. Just one minute of stoppage time in what has been a reasonably entertaining half and the home team will take a narrow 1-0 lead into the half-time break.

Half-time:   Aldershot Town 1   Kettering Town 0

The second-half is underway with the Poppies trailing by a single goal. It could easily have been two with a mix up in the Poppies defence but to the relief of the Poppies traveling faithful the strike went wide of the target. McClure’s curling strike is superbly saved by White to keep his side in this Cup tie.

The home side is having much more of the possession so far this half but it’s still only 1-0 so plenty to play for approaching the hour mark and Kettering replace Brett Solkhon with Andrea Borg on 56 minutes. Kettering break fast but are denied by the keeper Mannion and then a foul on the edge of the area which results in a booking for Shots defender Fowler. The free-kick doesn’t beat the wall and is cleared.

Kettering win a corner and are pressing for an equaliser but it’s claimed by the keeper. Another corner for Kettering and they are really giving it a go in this second half but again it’s cleared. A double substitution for Aldershot shortly after the hour mark to try and stem the tide of Kettering pressure as they are searching for an equaliser.

Aaron O’Connor makes his long-awaited return to replace Ben Milnes with 25 minutes remaining. Yet another Poppies corner which is eventually scrambled clear by the overworked home defence. Hoenes rounds the keeper and is taken clean out by Mannion in the home goal. A blatant penalty but the referee waved play on. White makes a save at the other end as it starts to open up.

Hoeness breaks again and this time fires past the keeper but he’s flagged offside. A very poor challenge comes in from Kinsella and the inevitable melee ensues followed by the referee showing yellow which should really have been red to the offender. I’m not sure what we’ve done to upset the referee but we’re certainly not getting any justice from him so far this afternoon.

O’Connor’s strike is palmed away for yet another Kettering corner but after a scrambling effort O’Connor shoots wide of the target. Another attack, another corner, but headed wide again. Into the final ten minutes of normal time, Kettering still trailing by that early first-half goal but have certainly given it everything in the second-half.

Goal!GOAL: The ball is picked up 30 yards out by Adam McDonnell and he looks up and curls a strike right into the top corner. Superb strike and White has no chance. That’s football I’m afraid as Kettering are 2-0 down despite tearing apart the home side in this send half but didn’t score.

Ben Toseland comes on to replace Rowe-Turner for the final five minutes or so but it’s a really tall order for Kettering to comeback from this one now. The home side are buoyed by that second goal and are having much more of the ball now as we head into two minutes of stoppage time. That second goal understandably sapped the energy from the Poppies players after they’d given everything in this second-half.

There goes the final whistle and Kettering are out of the FA Cup for another year. They certainly gave it a go and got no help from the referee over what should’ve been a penalty and then a red card for a shots defender. Both decisions went against them and perhaps the game with it. Congratulations to Aldershot Town though and good luck to them in the next round. Kettering home to Stourbridge in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

Att: 1,634

Kettering Town: White, Berry, Solkhon, Richens, Meikle, Hoenes, Milnes, Kelly-Evans, Kelly, Towers, Rowe-Turner. Subs: Elsom, O’Connor, Toseland, Borg, Hottor, Graham, Templeton.

Aldershot Town: Mannion, Kinsella, Fowler, Fenelon, McDonnell, Howell, Rendell, McClure, Booty, McCoy, Osho. Subs: Cole, Wanadio, Bernard, Lelan, Holman, Gallagher.