Match Report - Hitchin Town
Kettering Town FC: 0
Callum Westwood 42
Hitchin Town: 0
Ben Walster 46
Kettering Town FC: 0
Dominic Langdon 60
Anthony Howell 71
Rene Howe 52
Spencer Weir-Daley > Sam Smith55
Callum Westwood > Jordan Wilson58
Anthony Howell > Nathan Hicks77
Hitchin Town: 0
Lucas Kirkpatrick > Kieran Barnes88
MATCH SPONSORS : SCA
IN A NUTSHELL:
Both teams were missing a few players today, for varying reasons, and a clash between two teams who finished in last season’s top six, ended in a goalless stalemate. For reasons the Referee, only, will know here were two red cards in a game which reached no heights - Ben Walster for Hitchin at the end of the first half, and Rene Howe for Kettering early in the second period.
THE KETTERING SQUAD:
Wilson Carvalho served the 4th of his 6 match ban. Liam Canavan and Ben Baker were out injured, Ben Stephens had a wrist injury but was on the bench. Anthony Howell replaced Nathan Hicks in midfield and Chris Carruthers was not in the squad. Craig Hill came onto the bench.
HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED:
The game was played in bright sunshine on a grassy but hard surface.
Kettering’s James Brighton had an early shot deflected wide and within a minute Kettering keeper Paul Walker held a straightforward shot.
Brighton’s 7th minute corner was held by stand in keeper, Michael Johnson and again at the other end Liam Brooks turned to shoot but the effort was too high.
Walker was called on again to save from Matt Lench with the game not revealing a lot of quality.
Hitchin’s Lewis Rolfe was spoken to by the Referee after three hefty challenges- but not carded.
Mason Spence’s shot on 24 minutes was wide and Walker then got down well to stop a Brookes’ shot.
Rene Howe was in the thick of it as usual and he set up young Callum Westwood for a shot on the right- but it was wide under pressure from Ben Walster.
Liam Bateman’s 32nd minute cross found Gary Mulligan- but the header lacked power and Johnson collected. Hitchin tried a low corner from the right, but Lucas Kirkpatrick’s effort was blocked.
Brighton saw another effort blocked after a good build up and then slack play at the back gave Lench a shooting chance – but Walker was up to the task to catch the ball.
Kettering finished the half on the front foot, with Dom Langdon putting in a low cross and both Howe and Spencer Weir-Daley saw shots blocked. Then Mulligan got on the end of a long ball from Brett Solkhon- but his header was saved.
Deep in injury time Walster was red carded after an aerial clash with Callum Westwood.
Half Time: Kettering Town 0 - 0 Hitchin Town
With Hitchin down to 10 men they reorganized slightly although still with two up top.
Westwood’s early cross saw Brighton glance a header wide of goal and Howe crossed for Westwood to shoot- but Johnson saved.
The Referee evened up the headcount on 53 minutes as Howe challenged for a high ball. The big striker was red carded for his challenge.
On 61 minutes Walker got to a Callum Donnelly free kick to punch away and in the next minute Lench met a cross from the right but the shot was over the bar.
Jordan Wilson came on for Westwood and screwed a shot wide on 64 minutes. Wilson was then upended in the box as he ran onto a through ball- but no offence was seen by the Referee.
For Hitchin, Donnelly forced a save out of Walker and the keeper did well to kick away a deflected Lench free kick.
Wilson’s 77th minute shot for Kettering was easy for Johnson before Hitchin threatened again. Kettering’s Bateman got in a great saving header from a cross from the right and from the corner Langdon got in a timely block. Then Mulligan was in the right place to clear, almost off the line, from a clever back-heeled shot.
Kettering had the final chances as Bateman’s cross to the far post was missed by two attackers in a great position and, finally, Wilson fired wildly over the top as the game petered out.
Full Time: Kettering Town 0 - 0 Hitchin Town
Sponsors SCA Poppies Man of the Match: James Haran
Klondike (£125) No: 8440 Winner: Matthew Kook
1 Paul Walker
2 Liam Bateman
3 Dom Langdon
4 Brett Solkhon (Capt)
5 James Haran
6 Gary Mulligan
7 Callum Westwood (16 Jordan Wilson, 58)
8 Anthony Howell (12 Nathan Hicks, 74)
9 Rene Howe
10 Spencer Weir-Daley (14 Sam Smith,56)
11 James Brighton
Subs Unused: 15 Ben Stephens; 17 Craig Hill
Yellow cards: Westwood,43; Langdon,60;Howell,72
Red Card: Howe,53
1 Michael Johnson
2 Will Wright
3 Ben Walster
4 Matt Lench
5 Stuart Pearson
6 Lewis Rolfe
7 Mason Spence
8 Callum Donnelly (Captain)
9 Liam Brooks
10 Robbie Burns
11 Lucas Kirkpatrick
Subs Unused: 12 Josh Coley; 14 Kieran Barnes;15 Alfie Barker;16 Lewis McBride;17 Dan Webb
Yellow cards: None
Red Card: Walster,45+3.