Lack-lustre Poppies salvage a draw, 2-2 away to Coalville Town

Jan 12th, 2019

Kettering TownCoalville Town

Coalville Town 2
Perry 60, 69

Kettering Town 2
Holman 64
O’Connor 90

A tough trip for title-chasing Kettering Town today as they travel to Coalville Town who currently sit in 6th place but have won their last four fixtures and have five games in-hand over current leaders Stourbridge. The Poppies also have three games in-hand and will be well-placed for the run-in if they can at least keep pace at the top.

The match gets underway, the home side settle quicker and Paul White has been the busier of the two keepers in the opening stages making two good saves to ensure his side don’t get behind early on. Kettering have a had a couple of half-chances but haven’t really got going so far this afternoon. Much better play from Kettering and they are starting to make in-roads into the home box.

Corner to Coalville, headed away but Kettering can’t take advantage. A free-kick floated in and it hits the post and rebounds back into Paul White’s hands, a very lucky escape for Kettering there. Rowe-Turner enters the field of play to replace the injured Brett Solkhon. The lights have been on since the start of the match on an otherwise rather gloomy afternoon.

Holman was through one-on-one with the keeper but the keeper makes the save to concede a corner. Not the best of first touches but the keeper did well to make the save, the corner is headed out and a diving header by Holman is wide of the upright. Much better play from Poppies at the moment. A solid strike by Meikle and again keeper Ealton makes a good save.

Back-to-back corners for Poppies but the danger for Coalville is eventually cleared. Kettering have their tails up now and are piling on the pressure as half-time fast approaches. A slow start from the Poppies but they finished the half strong and look to keep the pressure on in the second 45 minute period.

Half-time:   Coalville Town 0   Kettering Town 0

The match gets underway and Adam Cunnington who appeared to have back spasms has been replaced by Aaron O’Connor. McGlinchy drives through and loops the ball over the advancing White but to the relief of the Poppies traveling faithful it also clears the crossbar. A timely intervention by Kelly as the home side are doing all the pressing at the moment.

O’Connor has the ball in the net but it’s clearly offside. The match has gotten a little scrappy as both teams try to get the better possession but it’s more like ping pong at the moment. Trouble for Kettering as the defence were caught static but again the ball rebounds off the post with White beaten and it’s scrambled clear by Towers.

Goal!GOAL: Another warning for Kettering who haven’t looked as sharp today up front but will need to up the tempo to get a win in this one. Another chance for the home side and again they are left exposed at the back post and up pops Perry to give his side the lead. It’s been coming if truth be told and now Kettering have it all to do without looking very dangerous yet this afternoon.

Goal!GOAL: Would you believe it, just when they fall behind they start to pick up the pace and are back on level terms. The ball was played into Dan Holman and he fires his side back on level terms at 1-1.

Goal!GOAL: Kettering have a few minutes of possession but are suddenly back on the back foot as Coalville have a corner. The ball comes in and again it’s not clamined by Paul White and not covered by the Poppies defence. Same error and same result, a goal to the home side at the far post from Perry again. Kettering looking vulnerable from set pieces still and today has certainly been no exception as they trail 2-1.

Kettering have it all to do again. The home side looking to see this one out but Kettering have a corner, poor delivery and easily cleared. The home side are looking to pick Poppies off on the counter and but for the save by Paul White that would’ve been game over. He comes out and collects the corner and Poppies try to build again, but in truth, goal-apart, they’ve been fairly poor today.

Perry races through but as he fires it over the bar the offside flag goes up. Can Kettering salvage something in the final few minutes or are they heading for another lack-lustre defeat. Coalville have the ball in the net again but this time it’s flagged offside before the delivery into the area. It’s last chance saloon for the Poppies to at least gain a point but on the bulk of play this afternoon it would be a pleasant surprise.

This would be a good time for one of those ‘late goals’ but the odds are not looking good on the Poppies performance so far. Dan Holman is chopped down and the referee waves play on before stopping to book Holman for his protests. That about sums up the afternoon for Kettering. Coalville make a change but it’s a time consuming one. Up comes the time added on and it’s a hefty six minutes, more than enough, if Kettering were on decent form.

Goal!GOAL: The ball is played into space for Aaron O’Connor and he runs into the area and smashes it past the keeper. Good grief, that was against the run of play and almost totally out of the blue. Kettering are suddenly level and pushing for a winner, that’s football. Hoenes rounds his man and is brought down, no penalty, Poppies players furious, but it’s still 2-2.

Into the final three minutes of time added on, could there be a winner for either side in this dramatic finish. Kettering will give it their best as they are now having their best spell of the afternoon. The ball is cleared off the line and Kettering have a corner, it’s put behind and Poppies have another corner but it’s cleared. This one looks all over as the referee checks his watch and there goes the final whistle.

Kettering left it really late to salvage a point from a poor performance where they never really looked their best except a couple of ten minute spells. Coalville could have easily have piled up the score, hitting the post twice and Kettering should’ve had a clear-cut penalty, but it’s ended 2-2 and the Poppies will probably be the happier with the point given the circumstances.

The Poppies fall further behind again to Stourbridge who won comfortably at home to Banbury Utd and it’s onto Tuesday at home to Biggleswade Town to try and close the gap. Let’s hope they play better than they did this afternoon, possibly missing the commanding presence of the suspended Michael Richens but really should have plenty of firepower to make up the difference.

Att: 567

Kettering Town: White, Stohrer, Stanley, Solkhon, Meikle, Hoenes, Holman, Cunnington, Towers, Kelly-Evans, Kelly. Subs: Toseland, O’Connor, Milnes, Graham, Rowe-Turner.

Coalville Town: Walton, Dean, McManaus, Towers, Fenton, Doyle-Charles, Shaw, Perry, Wright, Berridge, McGlinchy. Subs: Burrows, Brown, Coton, Freeman.