Match Report - Leek Town
Kettering Town FC: 1
Rene Howe 21
James Haran 42
Leek Town : 1
Jordan Johnson 43
Tom France 27
Kettering Town FC: 3
Nathan Hicks 62
Aaron O Connor 91
Spencer Weir-Daley > Aaron O Connor74
Dominic Langdon > Kaid Mohamed94
Leek Town : 2
Tim Grice 74
Mackenzie Faulner 65
Darren Chadwick 91
Paul Donnelly 94
Toby Mullarkey > Chris Budrys53
Ricky Bridge > Mackenzie Faulner56
IN A NUTSHELL:
New boy Aaron O’Connor was villain then hero as he fired a 93rd minute winner for the Poppies today after missing a penalty a minute before! Kettering had a lot of possession in this game, taking the lead through Rene Howe on 22 minutes before Jordan Johnson’s free kick levelled in the 43rd minute. Nathan Hicks’ 62nd minute strike was then cancelled out by Tim Grice 12 minutes later- before the final drama saw Kettering move into the next round. One of the Leek Town bench was sent off after the final goal.
THE KETTERING SQUAD:
Rene Howe returned after suspension, as did Dom Langdon after unavailability. However, Liam Canavan was unavailable and Ben Stephens,Anthony Howell and Callum Westwood were out injured. New signing, Aaron O’Connor was on the bench.
HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED:
A lovely surface greeted the teams at a rain soaked Harrison Park for this Emirates F A Cup tie.
It was a cautious start for both teams.
An early Leek cross from the left shot across goal on the slippery turf and Rene Howe tried to put Spencer Weir-Daley through- but keeper Chris Martin smothered easily. Howe and Weir-Daley linked up again but the left foot shot was deflected wide by a defender.
Kaid Mohamed then forced Martin into a save and the keeper pounced quickly after he dropped the ball. Another good Kettering move involving four players saw Howe shoot wide.
Leek then finally got forward and James Haran blocked Chris Budrys’ shot and keeper Craig Hill then took a header from Budrys from a free kick into the box.
The Poppies were playing good football and controlling the game well. Wilson Carvalho created a good chance for Weir-Daley, who chose not to shoot first time and he lost control and a good opportunity went begging.
Kettering took the lead on 22 minutes. It was a simple goal as Brett Solkhon’s measured cross was headed in by Howe with a firm header from 12 yards past a surprised Martin.
Hill was down well to take a cross from the speedy Sam Grimshaw and at the other end Mohamed’s free kick was just wide.
Danger man Grimshaw got clear the left, but Liam Bateman got in a great block as the wide man had a good chance to score.
On 32 minutes Weir-Daley got in on goal but his left foot shot was well save by Martin. Then Solkhon rose to glance James Brighton’s corner narrowly wide. Carvalho’s 38th minute cross-shot was deflected to Martin’s grateful arms, and the keeper made a good save from Howe after Carvalho had created the chance.
There was little to signal a Leek goal – but it still came in the 43rd minute. Haran’s ostensibly unnecessary foul earned him a yellow card and Jordan Johnson stepped up to fire the free kick low past Hill’s left hand.
Just before the break Weir-Daley threaded his way through a bunch of players only to be prevented from shooting by a well timed tackle.
Then another incisive run by Grimshaw saw his low cross somehow scrambled clear.
Finally another neat Kettering move saw James Brighton fire tamely wide from a very good position just a few yards out.
Half Time: Leek Town 1 - 1 Kettering Town
In the first minute of the half some sloppy defending gave Tim Grice a header at goal from a narrow angle- but the ball went wide.
Kettering replied immediately and Mohamed came in from the left and his shot was just wide of the right post.
Hill then had to be alert in the visitor’s goal and he took Grimshaws’ cross.
The Poppies were again having good possession and territorial advantage and Brighton got well forward- but his shot was deflected wide of goal. Mohamed tried his luck again- but Martin was up to the task as he held the shot.
Grimshaw got away again and his low cross was too far in front of his teammates.
Kettering regained the lead on 62 minutes. Again the ball came in from the left and Nathan Hicks fired a low shot past Martin and inside the left upright from 22 yards.
Brighton then came across from the left-but his right foot shot was over the bar. Weir-Daley saw a shot saved by Martin on 70 minutes.
The Blues weren’t done, however, and a great cross from the right a minute later was missed by the defence and a surprised Grice put his header well wide. Grice made up for that miss three minutes later, though, as substitute Mackenzie Faulkner put him in on the right and the low finish beat Hill.
Kettering immediately brought on Aaron O’Connor in place of Weir-Daley.
Brett Solkhon’s 77th minute shot was saved and, a few minutes later,Kettering keeper Hill made a good save from a deflected shot.
On 84 minutes, O’Connor shot into the side netting from a narrow angle and then Carvalho’s shot was deflected wide.
Kettering were finishing the stronger and Martin saved a Brighton shot and Mohammed’s shot was deflected wide.
The Referee, Alan Bennett (no doubt wanting the players to play right….) awarded a penalty to Kettering in added time, as Darren Chadwick pulled Howe’s shirt at a corner. O’Connor grabbed the ball and continued the penalty hoodoo as he fired high past the right post.
O’Connor redeemed himself a minute later as he ran on to fire a left foot shot in, albeit that Martin got an arm on the ball as it went high into the net.
Kettering now will feature in the draw for the second round qualifying on Monday.
Full Time: Leek Town 2 - 3 Kettering Town
Attendance: 416 (Poppies fans estimated at 150)
Poppies Man of the Match: Nathan Hicks
1 Chris Martin
2 Alex Morris
3 Ricky Bridge (14 Mackenzie Faulkner,56)
4 Tom France
5 Aaron Carter
6 Darren Chadwick
7 Sam Grimshaw
8 Niall Maguire ( Captain)
9 Tim Grice
10 Chris Budrys (12 Tom Mullarkey,53)
11 Jordan Johnson
Subs unused: 15 Anthony Danylyk 16 Ewan Cooper 17 Paul Donnelly
Yellow Cards: France,28;Faulkner,56;Chadwick,92
Red Card: Paul Donnelly,90+3
1 Craig Hill
2 Liam Bateman
3 James Brighton
4 Brett Solkhon (Capt)
5 James Haran
6 Gary Mulligan
7 Wilson Carvalho
8 Spencer Weir-Daley (16 Aaron O’Connor,74)
9 Rene Howe
10 Kaid Mohamed (15 Dom Langdon,90+5)
11 Nathan Hicks
Subs Unused: 12 Ben Baker 14 Ben Bradshaw 17 Paul Walker
Yellow card: Haran,43.