Match Report - Hitchin Town
Kettering Town FC: 1
Dubi Ogbonna 30
Hitchin Town: 0
Lucas Kirkpatrick 46
Kettering Town FC: 1
Dominic Langdon 74
Courtney Baker-Richardson > Silvano Obeng80
Dubi Ogbonna > Jevani Brown80
Will Grocott > Saul Williams90
Hitchin Town: 2
Lucas Kirkpatrick 77
Jonny McNamara 88
Matt Lench > Staurt Pearson64
John Frendo > Brett Donnelly70
How The Poppies lost this game only the Players and Management will know. They dominated the first 75 minutes, taking the lead on the half hour through Dubi Ogbonna. The Canaries Man of the Match, keeper, Charlie Horlock had kept his team in the game.
However, the visitors tired, lost control of the game in midfield and Lucas Kirkpatrick’s scrambled equaliser on 78 minutes was the springboard for Jonny McNamara’s 89th minute winner.
There were no changes to the successful line up which won at Biggleswade. Elliot Sandy was restored to the bench in place of Richard Bryan.
Prolific home scorer, John Frendo, created a second minute chance for himself, but the shot was poor, and then Kettering keeper, Craig Hill, was down to smother from the lively Jonny McNamara.
The rest of the half belonged to Kettering.
James Brighton’s 13th minute free kick found Courtney Baker Richardson and somehow the home keeper, Charlie Horlock, stopped the shot with his outstretched leg as the ball went for a corner.
From the corner a quick break saw McNamara advance on the left. Kettering stopper, Craig Hill, saved the shot and the ball rebounded off of Michael Richens and Dom Langdon had to clear.
On 15 minutes, Brighton sent Baker-Richardson clear and Horlock palmed away the shot. In the same minute, Liam Canavan hit a left foot shot just wide.
Kettering were on the front foot and Michael Richens cross was headed across goal by Gary Mulligan – only for Baker-Richardson to scuff the shot wide.
Will Grocott’s 20th minute free kick was well taken by Horlock before Kettering had another great chance. Dubi Ogbonna was put clear, but pushed the ball on too far and again Horlock came to the rescue as he smothered.
On 29 minutes Horlock made an amazing save as he got a finger to Canavan’s shot after Brett Solkhon had had the first attempt, and the ball cleared the bar.
Two corners followed and from the second The Poppies took the lead. The ball was won by Solkhon, not cleared by the home defence and Ogbonna drove the ball in from close range.
Hill gave a little scare to the visiting fans as he spilled a back header from Ollie Thorne, but Michael Richens was on hand to clear.
McNamara did get the ball in the net on 40 minutes, but was clearly offside.
Finally, at the half, Canavan fired over.
Hitchin came out in a determined mood and dominated the first five minutes of the second period, without threatening the goal. In fact Kettering’s Ogbonna had the first shot, which cleared the bar.
Sam Barker did fire well over for Hitchin, before Horlock was again in action, stretching to punch away Ogbonna’s cross.
McNamara, playing on the right, crossed into the side netting, and then Thorne got in a great block on a shot in front of goal.
Kettering still looked the most likely to score at this stage and a flowing move saw Grocott put a shot wide. Then Canavan headed wide from a Richens cross.
There were signs of a change from around the 70th minute as Kettering visibly began to struggle AND Hitchin got to grips in midfield. Hill made a good save as he positioned himself well to save Dan Webb’s 76th minute header.
The equaliser came two minutes later as a long throw into the six yard box was not dealt with and with Hill on the ground trying to prevent a goal, he stopped the first effort, but Lucas Kirkpatrick was there to stab in virtually on the goal line.
Hitchin were already in the ascendancy when Jevani Brown and Silvano Obeng replaced Ogbonna and Baker-Richardson.
The Poppies forced a corner on the left and Horlock again cleared. On 87 minutes, Obeng held off his marker to get a shot in but it lacked power.
The winner on 89 minutes saw McNamara sent clear on the right, and he finished coolly under Hill and into the far corner.
That consistency that was hoped for is still missing, and it’s now on to Stratford on Tuesday in the Red Insure Cup and St Ives on Friday in the FA Trophy.
Attendance: 379 (Poppies Fans: Estimated at 150)
Poppies Man of the Match: Ollie Thorne