Sluggish Poppies easily beaten 3-0 at Darlington.

Aug 10th, 2019

Kettering TownDarlington

Darlington 3
Thompson 18, 75pen
Rivers 47

Kettering Town 0

A reminder on Tuesday that Kettering Town are in a tougher league came, ironically, from the team that got promoted alongside them, King’s Lynn Town as they went don 2-1 away from home. The other reminder comes in the form of what will be one of many long trips up North, today’s destination being Darlington. Their host gained their first point of the season on Tuesday against Gateshead.

Goal!GOAL: The match gets underway with the hosts settling the quicker and a curling effort just flies wide of Paul White’s upright. Seconds later a mistake by Stohrer allows a free shot at goal but again the hosts can’t hit the target. A free-kick conceded by Kettering and up steps Steve Thompson and fires it past Paul White into the top corner. 1-0 to Darling on 18 minutes.

A chance for Kettering as Kelly takes a free-kick but a fine save by keeper Elliott and the follow-up is cleared off the line. Much better from the Poppies as they begin to recover from their early setback. A corner for Poppies but the ball in is an easy take for keeper Elliott. White saves close in, Nti races clear and is brought down. The referee shows a yellow card to the Darlington offender.

Another corner for Poppies, swung in by Kelly, Meikle fires high and wide of the target. Richens is shown the yellow card as half-time approaches. Rivers breaks clear and is one-on-one with White but his shot creeps just past the outside of the post. Stohrer floats a ball in but Kennedy can’t get a good header in. Into three minutes of added time at the end of the first-half.

Half-time:   Darlington 1   Kettering Town 0

Goal!GOAL: The second-half gets underway. Stohrer easily beaten out wide by Thompson who cuts inside and feeds Rivers and he back-heels it past White and into the net. Darlington 2-0 up just two minutes after the restart. It’s all too easy for the hosts as Kettering again starting out looking very sluggish.

O’Connor somehow scoops it over the crossbar from close in. Kelly beaten and Paul White makes a good stretching save. The hosts cruising a little now and another flash shot just clears White’s goal. Corner for Poppies, swung in by Hodge, headed back by Graham but O’Connor fouls the defender and the free-kick is given. Darlington switch out O’Neill for Donowa on 65 minutes. Corner swung in by Kelly but it’s easily cleared. Donowa looked to be racing away but he fouls Hodge.

Goal!GOAL: Kettering just haven’t managed to create any quality moves in the final third but they are hanging in and hoping for a break in the final 20 minutes remaining. Galbraith is replaced by Heaton for Darlington. Good build up and Skarz brings down Hatfield in the area, yellow for Skarz, penalty for Darlington. Stephen Thompson fires past White and that should wrap up the points for Darlington at 3-0.

Paul White is working hard to keep the score down with tow good saves after being left over exposed again by his defence. Another save by White, he is really the only Poppy who can hold their head up this afternoon and say they had a good game. Kennedy’s late challenge earns him a yellow card. Hatfield is replaced by Wheatley for Darlington. Kennedy is replaced by Milnes for Poppies. A yellow card for Donowa for kicking the ball away.

Solkhon shoots but it’s straight at Elliott. Skarz concedes a free-kick, Liddle takes but it’s easily cleared. White holds a solid shot as the match enters three minutes of time added on with Kettering well-beaten this afternoon and looking a little out of their depth to be honest. Hodge whips in a cross, Nti misses and Solkhon puts its wide of the target. That about sums it up and there’s a lot of work for manager Nicky Eaden to do. Chester at home on Tuesday.

Att: 1,344

Kettering Town: White, Stohrer, Kelly, Skarz, Graham, Richens (Hodge 46), Meikle, O’Connor, Nti, Solkhon, Kennedy. Subs: Brighton, Carta, Milnes, Massaro.

Darlington: Elliott, Liddle, Watson, Bascome, Laing, Galbraith, Rivers, Hatfield, Campbell, Thompson, O’Neill. Subs: Holness, Heaton, Donowa, Bell, Wheatley.