Match Report - St Neots Town
Kettering Town FC: 1
Rene Howe 19
Courtney Baker-Richardson > Rene Howe63
St Neots Town: 0
Mat Mitchel-King 39
Kettering Town FC: 1
Ben Stephens 92
Will Grocott > Wilson Carvalho87
Ben Stephens > Liam Canavan89
Courtney Baker-Richardson > Rene Howe46
St Neots Town: 0
Tom Meechan 80
Tom Meechan > Christopher Lewis83
IN A NUTSHELL:
Kettering won this game with a scrappy 20th minute goal from Rene Howe. Yet again the weather conditions dominated the match with a gale blowing down the pitch- but the Poppies seemed to master the conditions better – especially in the second half as the Saints piled on pressure with the wind at their backs. In the end a great team performance secured all three points.
THE KETTERING SQUAD:
Paul Walker was given his debut with Craig Hill reverting to the bench. Also starting were Liam Canavan and Dom Langdon with Elliot Sandy and Ollie Thorne also reverting to the substitutes bench.
HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED:
Kettering had the wind at their backs for this half and trying to benefit, James Brighton’s 2nd minute direct free kick was just wide of Andy Wilton’s left post.
St Neots first threat, from the first of many long throws into the six yard box, saw the ball not cut out and Chris Carruthers did extremely well to head over his own bar to snuff out the danger.
Kettering replied and Brett Longden headed away Brighton’s cross for a corner.
From the restart, Brighton’s deep corner was headed against the bar by Dom
Kettering had a period of domination and Liam Canavan’s shot was pushed away by Wilton, and then Liam Bateman’s cross was headed just over by Brett Solkhon.
For the Saints, Tom Meecham’s 16th minute driven corner on the left was somehow scrambled clear before Kettering had a great chance in the next minute. James Brighton’s corner on the left saw Rene Howe just have to make contact to score and he completely missed the ball with his head.
It was still all Kettering and Canavan’s audacious 19th minute 25 yard chip beat Witon- but lust landed on top of the net.
Kettering scored in the next minute. Langdon lobbed a ball up into the box and Wilton, Howe and a defender went for the ball. Wilton appeared to catch but the ball came off Howe’s head and rolled just inside the left upright. No offence was given and the goal stood.
The goal spurred St Neots into action and the game became more end to end. Ryan Hawkins’ cross from the right was cleared by Liam Bateman and Remy Gordon put a good chance high and wide.
A nice one-two between Canavan and Brighton saw the latter shoot over the bar.
The home side had a good shout for a penalty on 37 minutes. Meecham was going clear inside the penalty area and was tackled by Solkhon. Meecham went down and to Meecham’s surprise,the Referee deemed no offence.
Liam Canavan’s direct free kick was deflected wide by Solkhon and, just before the interval, a swift Kettering break saw two Kettering players unable to control as the ball went through to Wilton.
Finally, Meecham’s right foot curler from the left saw the ball drift well wide.Courtney Baker-Richardson replaced Howe at half time due to a groin injury. The first 10 minutes of the half was won by the wind as both sides struggled to cope with their new direction.
St Neots were not finding their front men as the ball drifted past them, although they did force some corners, the closest of which on 57, minutes saw Isaac Galliford’s cross drop onto the top of the net.
The Poppies were struggling to get forward now, although they were very solid in defence. It wasn’t until the 58th minute that a corner was won and Brighton’s kick was cleared. Then, a couple of minutes later, Wilson Carvalho broke on the left and his pull back was snuffed out by Ryan Frater.
Another ten uneventful minutes past. In the 70th minute there was controversy as Wilton ran out of his area to intercept a through ball. Baker-Richardson got there first to push the ball forward only to be scythed down by Wilton. The Referee deemed no offence.
Kettering then won a corner and as the ball was eventually cleared to Canavan, he fired wide.
On 76 minutes, Kettering keeper, Paul Walker was finally forced into a save as Gordon broke clear on the left- and Walker did very well to save, diving to his left.From the ensuing corner, Gordon had a clear header- but put it well wide.
St Neots threw men forward in the last 10 minutes and all their pressure came to nought as the defence stayed solid. Corners were defended and tackles made. Meecham did get the ball in the net at the far post, but having punched it in, he received a yellow card.
In fact had Kettering been sharper, they could have had a goal or two on the break but failed to capitalize. The final shot after five minutes of added time saw Wilton save from Baker-Richardson.
The Poppies now need to keep up the good work with home games this week on Tuesday 15th December when they entertain Dorchester Town (7.45pm kick-off), and on Saturday 19th when Frome Town visit (3pm).
St Neots Town 0 - 1 Kettering Town
Attendance: 438 (Away fans estimated at 150)
Poppies man of the match: Whole Team