Clinical Poppies 4-1 winners away to Redditch Utd

Feb 9th, 2019

Kettering TownRedditch Utd

Redditch Utd 1
Johnson 61

Kettering Town 4
Meikle 14
Hoenes 32, 90
Holman 70

The weather has cooperated for today’s match as Kettering Town make the relatively short journey north to play Redditch Utd and the Reds always provide a tough challenge for the Poppies no matter the relative positions of the two teams. Kettering go into today’s game just ahead of main rivals Stourbridge with games in hand so they are aiming to keep the pressure on their fellow title challengers and hopefully keep winning to keep their noses in front to the finish line at the end of the season.

Goal!GOAL: The match gets under way with the home side in red and white and Kettering are playing in their sky blue away strip. An early corner for Kettering as Meikle’s shot is blocked and the home side scramble it clear. Kettering on the front foot as Richens finds Holman who plays a good ball into Lindon Meikle and the Poppies striker slots it past the keeper and into the net.

Good build up play from Kettering and Meikle supplied the clinical finish to put them 1-0 up on 14 minutes. Kettering battling away as the match gets a little scrappy and Redditch have a free-kick which White manages to push behind for a corner which is headed clear by Kelly. O’Connor fires a shot from just inside the area, Reds keeper Francis palms it away with a one-hand save for a Poppies corner and Meikle’s effort is wide of the target.

Goal!GOAL: A late challenge on Milnes from McGrath who picks up a yellow card for the incident. Another good pass from Holman and this time it’s Rhys Hoenes who benefits and he twists and turns before unleashing a shot past Francis and into the net. It’s 2-0 with 32 minutes gone and Kettering looking good for their lead.

A corner for the home side eventually finds Batchelor but his header is wide of the target. Evans is booked for a late tackle on Holman but it hasn’t been too ill-tempered so far this afternoon and the referee just making sure it stays that way. Francis makes an easy save from Holman’s strike. Kettering take a 2-0 lead into half-time with goals from Meikle and Hoenes after a solid start to the afternoon.

Half-time:   Redditch Utd 0   Kettering Town 2

The second-half is underway and the home team definitely haven’t given this one up yet and look like they’re ready to give it a good go in the second period. A rare lapse at the back by Kettering and White is both relieved and then annoyed at his defence as he watches the ball fly wide of the goal. Kelly-Evans plays in O’Connor and he turns and shoots but it’s just a little high and clears the crossbar.

Goal!GOAL: Well the writing was on the wall for Poppies as the Reds get a goal back from Johnson who pounced and fired past an exposed Paul White to reduce the deficit to a single goal. Kettering caught unawares and Paul White stood no chance of keeping that one out. It’s 2-1 to Kettering with 61 minutes gone. White stretches and the ball goes just wide of the upright as Redditch press for an equaliser.

A real opportunity there for the home side as they were torn apart by the Redditch attack but again the finishing let them down with White again over-exposed in the Poppies goal. Kettering manager Marcus Law is on his feet urging his players to wake up and get back into this one as they seem to have sat back a little so far in the second-half. Kelly-Evans picks up a yellow card for a foul but Paul White collects well from the resulting free-kick.

Goal!GOAL: Kettering on the attack with Dan Holman who surges forward, looks up and fires past Francis to restore his side’s lead back to 2-0. A great turn and strike by Holman to the delight of the traveling faithful behind the goal. It’s 3-1 to Kettering.

Red’s Robbie Bunn gets shown the yellow card for a foul. Milnes free-kick is easily collected by Francis in the home goal. Kettering make a change as Brett Solkhon replaces Ben Milnes for the remaining 10 minutes or so. Five minutes later Washbourne replaces Batchelor for the home side’s final substitution. A one-on-one with White facing Howard but the Red’s striker hooks it into the side netting. A late chance as Rhys Hoenes has a one-on-one and he beats the keeper to make it 4-1.

As the forth official puts up the sign for three minutes of time added on it’s all over bar the shouting as again Kettering show they have their clinical finishing heads on and have come through what is usually a tough challenge to emerge with a fairly comfortable victory in the end. Francis saves with his legs from Solkhon and the final whistle sounds. A good win for the Poppies and it’s onto next Saturday away to St Ives Town looking for revenge for an earlier defeat at Latimer Park.

Att: 379

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

Redditch Utd: Francis, Tye, Ashmore, McGrath, Parsons, Evans, Downing, Bunn, Johnson, Whittingham, Batchelor. Subs: Stoddart, Washbourne, Nelson, Howards, Franklin.