Match Report - Chesham United
Kettering Town FC: 3
Wilson Carvalho 20
James Brighton 24
Rene Howe 34
Chesham United: 0
Kettering Town FC: 3
Elliot Sandy > Andy Gooding56
Liam Canavan > Will Grocott70
Rene Howe > Dubi Ogbonna82
Chesham United: 0
Kelvin Bossman > Brad Wadkins45
Ashley Smith > George Casey68
Sam Youngs > Barry Hayles75
Kettering won this game 3-0 with all three goals coming in a 15 minute spell in the first half. The reality was that The Poppies recent weaknesses were reversed into strengths as they defended stoutly for a lot of the game, especially from numerous Chesham corners, and converted their goal chances.
The all important goals were scored by Wilson Carvalho, James Brighton and debutant, Rene Howe.
Gary Mulligan replaced Dom Langdon in defence and Rene Howe was in for Dubi Ogbonna up front.
Two very heavy rain showers saw standing water on the pitch at 6.15. After volunteers and the groundsman worked on the pitch, the Referee declared the game on at 6.50 - albeit that the ground was saturated and very heavy in parts.
Chesham started the game very positively and took the game to their hosts. Sam Youngs forced Kettering keeper, Craig Hill, into an awkward save as his 25 yard drive skimmed across the soaked surface.
The Generals forced no less than six corners in the fist quarter of an hour - and all were dealt with by an overworked Poppies defence. Kettering’s first real foray forward saw a 16th minute corner cleared and then a low Wilson Carvalho cross from the right was well cleared.
Kettering surprisingly took the lead on 20 minutes. Carvalho, on the right, crossed and the ball eluded Shane Gore in the visitors’ goal and went in under the bar.
Chesham responded with vigour and a couple of minutes later saw four consecutive shots blocked, including a shout for a handball, and a final shot deflected over Hill’s bar for yet another unproductive corner. Hill then saved a Ryan Blake shot.
Kettering were two up after 24 minutes. The ball appeared to go out of play in the Kettering build up to this goal – but it was a superb finish by James Brighton. Receiving the ball from a neat Elliot Sandy flick on - Brighton turned his man inside out and finished with a low, left foot shot past Gore and in at the right post.
The eventual protests from the away bench were loud and prolonged- and they may have had good cause - but the goal stood and the touchlines were re-marked at the interval!
Liam Canavan got clear for Kettering on 29 minutes, but was pulled up for offside, and Chesham forced three more corners - the first two well defended and the third saw George Fenton’s header come off the top of the bar.
Hill parried Toby Little’s shot and the rebound shot went out for a throw in.
Kettering were three up inside 35 minutes. Carvalho went past the defender and his shot was saved by Gore. From the resultant Brighton corner on the right, the ball sailed across the six yard box and Rene Howe just got his foot to the ball before the defender to fire high into the net.
Chesham were stunned and given their pressure and possession it was understandable.
Howe almost got on the end of Brighton’s 37th minute cross, before Chesham threatened again as Hill and Chris Carruthers combined to clear a cross for another corner, and finally in the half, Hill made a good save from Youngs.
The second period saw more end to end play with both sides having chances - but generally The Poppies comfortably held on to their lead as the pitch conditions continued to be testing.
Youngs fired an early left foot shot over and a long Liam Bateman throw saw Sandy’s header drop just over the goal.
For Chesham, Nick Beasant looped a shot over the bar and for Kettering, Carvalho’s cross was well taken by Gore.
With a quarter of the game to go, Chesham realised it was not going to be their day as Blake got clear on the left and his goal bound shot saw Hill get the faintest of touches with his foot and the ball ran across the goal and out for a corner. In reality it was a great save.
From the corner, the ball landed at Fenton’s feet 10 yards out with a clear shot - and he spooned it over the bar.
Kettering got forward on 72 minutes to force a couple of corners and Howe’s effort from the second saw Gore save on his line.
Carvalho fired wide and Generals’ substitute, Brad Wadkins headed wide from a corner.
Kettering brought on Will Grocott, Andy Gooding and Dubi Ogbonna for Sandy, Canavan and Howe - with Chesham as well as Wadkins replacing Kelvin Bossman had veteran Barry Hayles replace Youngs and George Casey on for Ashley Smith.
In the final 10 minutes Grocott fired a shot over and also hit the bar; Hill was down well to take a low cross; Gore did very well to deny Carvalho, who got clear on the right and at the death, Ogbonna should have scored as he created an opening - but the shot went straight across goal.
Saturday next sees league leaders Poole Town (winners at Histon 7-0 last night!) at Latimer Park for a 3pm kick-off in what promises to be a hard game for The Poppies.
Poppies Man Of The Match: James Brighton
Klondike Result: Winning Ticket - Number 2837 for £100.
Winner: Michael Bridgeman