Match Report - Bideford
Kettering Town FC: 0
Kevin Squire 10
Kettering Town FC: 0
Silvano Obeng > Jevani Brown54
Liam Canavan > Reubus Richard-Noel63
Saul Williams > Ben Baker79
Sean Downing 84
Matty Andrew 90
Matt Hockley > Richard Groves53
Ian Sampson > Nick Milton58
Kevin Squire > Sam Chaney75
In-form Bideford belied their lowly league position to condemn the under strength Poppies to a 2-0 defeat with goals from Kevin Squire on 11 minutes, and Sean Downing five minutes from time.
It was a poor game on a heavy pitch,which Kettering will be very disappointed to lose and very disappointed with the overall performance.
With Courtney Baker-Richardson and Ollie Thorn injured, Steve Kinnniburgh not fully fit, Michael Richens suspended and Andy Gooding unavailable, it was very much a changed squad.
Saul Williams started at right back, Dom Langdon was moved into central defence and James Brighton at left back. Under-21, Silvano Obeng started as three of his colleagues, Reubus Richard-Noel, Danny Harmon and Ben Baker named on the bench.
Credit is due to the volunteers from Bideford who got this game on after heavy overnight rain. It was very heavy in places and the players took a while to adjust.
Kettering's Gary Mulligan got in a header early on, which was saved by the home keeper, Kyle Moore.
The Poppies were undone in the 11th minute as the right back hoodoo struck again. Saul Williams advanced upfield only to see Will Grocott lose the ball, and in a flash, Nick Barker was clear on the left and a good low cross saw Kevin Squire convert easily.
Squire headed for goal in the next minute - but Craig Hill was there to collect the ball easily. Kettering had Elliot Sandy in midfield as playmaker, and he got forward to fire wide after Dubi Ogbonna's effort was charged down.
Bideford were giving as good as they got with some firm defending, and got forward again on 20 minutes as Sean Downing's deep cross saw Matty Andrew head wide.
Dubi Ogbonna then got in the way of a Grocott shot in an offside position, something the striker was guilty of a few times in the half! But on 28 minutes Ogbonna was put clear by Liam Canavan and somehow stumbled over the ball before playing it wide of Moore and out for a goal kick. It was a clear and relatively easy chance squandered.
The Poppies were the offensive team and Grocott hooked a shot wide before Sandy's header was easy for Moore, and then the same player saw Ogbonna, again offside, as he shot at goal.
Finally, in a poor 45 minutes of football, Moore was out to hack clear from Obeng.
The second period saw Matt Hockley fire wide, in the 46th minute, before Kettering nearly found an equaliser.
A corner saw Mulligan's header saved and Ogbonna's follow up shot was well blocked. Ogbonna then had a chance on the left but again the shot was blocked.
Grocott fired well wide from a free kick, before Reubus Richard-Noel came on for Canavan. Richard-Noel's pace saw an immediate good run down the right - but Ogbonna could just not reach the low driven cross.
On 70 minutes, Ogbonna, in a good position, saw his shot blocked and James Brighton's shot was also blocked.
Kettering had all the possession - but could not find a way through what was, at times, a 10 man defence.
Jevani Brown, on for Obeng, put a low 73rd minute free kick wide and Brett Solkhon put a shot wide of goal.
Saul Williams' 77th minute cross from the right landed on top of the net as the Poppies continued to fire blanks.
Kettering fell to a sucker punch second goal on 85 minutes. Sean Downing, on the right, out fought the defender and ran on to beat Hill at close range.
An 87th minute free kick gave Kettering a chance - but Grocott fired high over.
It could have been worse for the visitors as, in added time, Matty Bye ran clear but fired into the side netting.
Attendance: 209 (Poppies Fans: 30)
Poppies Man of the Match: Elliot Sandy