Match Report - Witton Albion
Kettering Town FC: 1
Liam Canavan 09
Witton Albion: 1
Robert Hopley 45
Kettering Town FC: 1
Gary Mulligan 85
James Brighton > Brett Solkhon49
Witton Albion: 2
Wesley Benjamin 96
Bradley Bauress 78
IN A NUTSHELL: The Poppies were outfought by their lower ranked hosts today losing 2-1 to exit the F A Trophy. Witton’s goals came with the last kick of each half from Rob Hopley (45mins +2) and, dramatically, Wes Benjamin (90 mins + 6).The Poppies had taken an 8th minute lead through Liam Canavan but really didn’t look like adding to this goal afterwards.
THE KETTERING SQUAD: It was the same starting eleven as at St Ives last week. Rene Howe reported a groin strain and did not make the trip and was replaced on the bench by Aaron O’Connor, who then broke down in the pre match warm up! Paul White was on the bench returning from injury. There was no Ben Stephens, who is expected to join Stratford after a 7 day approach last week.
HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED: Witton kicked off and immediately signalled their intentions as Dean Snedker fielded a 60 yard shot! Kettering got forward in the third minute as Nathan Hicks’ right foot effort drifted wide. In their next meaningful attack five minutes later they took the lead. Wilson Carvalho crossed from the right and Spencer Weir-Daley controlled well to set up Liam Canavan who stroked a low left foot past Dan Roberts. James Brighton’s 11th minute corner dropped onto the top of the net and Carvalho cut in from the right but his left foot shot was over the bar. Witton’s Bradley Bauress had space for a shot which he curled into Snedker’s arms. James Haran’s run into the penalty area saw him go down in a heap – but the Referee was not moved. This first 20 minutes or so gave no indication of what was to follow. The Albion- unbeaten at home this season- began to show why. Their brand of fast flowing football, with ball to feet, began to stretch the Poppies. They had a lot of attacking play and were good in regaining possession as the Poppies, particularly in midfield, were outplayed. Snedker was constantly in action- mainly taking crosses and corners as he stood tall. Steve Tames got clear and Snedker got hands to the ball with Dom Langdon running round behind to clear the ball. More good play got Matthew Devine a chance but the ball was just out of his reach. On 41 minutes Rob Hopley was put clear and Snedker made a good save with his legs. Gary Mulligan then just got in an important block to deny Hopley and then a header to block a Thomas Owens’ shot. Kettering were buckling and three corners followed for Witton and Prince Haywood fired just wide. Not to be outdone, Witton equalised with the last kick of the half. A needless foul by Canavan allowed the ball to be put into the area and a combination of Snedker and the post stopped the first effort- only for Hopley to net the rebound.
Half Time: Witton Albion 1 - 1 Kettering Town
The start of the half saw Witton on the attack and Owens was clear on the left but hit the side netting. Snedker was out to clear from the advancing Tames and moments later, Hopley fired over. Kettering’s cause was not helped as Brighton went down unchallenged with a knee twist and had to be replaced by Brett Solkhon in the 49th minute. After 10 minutes of the half Kettering got an effort on goal as Canavan chipped a shot at Roberts. Then Spencer Weir-Daley ran onto a long pass on the left and his first time left foot shot was just over the bar.Matthew Barnes-Homer got in a cross but it was onto the top of the net. Witton were looking slick but, despite their possession, they could not trouble Snedker, who raced off his line to gather from Hopley. Paul Williams’ 65th minute free kick, from a good position, came off the wall for a fruitless corner. Canavan shot from the left but it was easy for Roberts to gather. Witton came strong in the last 20 minutes. Bauress fired over after a corner and claims for a 77th minute penalty for a Solkhon handball were denied. It was fast and furious and the teams squared up to each other a couple of times as the pressure grew – with the Referee seemingly unable to control the game, giving a number of odd decisions–for both teams. As the game entered added time, Kettering did get forward and Canavan’s cross was cleared away from Weir-Daley. Once again, and very dramatically, Witton scored with the final kick of the half. A corner was cleared and Wes Benjamin got the loose ball and fired high into the net to win the tie. Kettering have to pick themselves up very quickly for two league games next week – at Kings Langley on Tuesday and Hitchin on Saturday.
Full Time: Witton Albion 2 - 1 Kettering Town
Attendance: 339 (Poppies fans estimated at 80)
Poppies Man of the Match: Dean Snedker
Team line-ups: Witton Albion: 1 Daniel Roberts 2 Anthony Gardner (Captain) 3 Matthew Devine 4 Michael Wilson 5 Wesley Benjamin 6 Paul Williams 7 Prince Haywood 8 Thomas Owens 9 Robert Hopley 10 Steven Tames 11 Bradley Bauress
Subs Unused: 12 Karl Noon 14 Ryan Hickman 15 Danny Adigun 16 Tolani Omotola 17 Dominic Garner
Yellow card: Bauress,77
Kettering Town: 1 Dean Snedker 2 Nathan Hicks 3 Dom Langdon 4 Gary Mulligan (Captain) 5 James Haran 6 Paul MALONE 7 Wilson Carvalho 8 Spencer Weir-Daley 9 Matthew Barnes-Homer 10 Liam Canavan 11 James Brighton (15 Brett Solkhon,49)
Subs Unused: 12 Lewis Hornby 14 Aaron O’Connor 16 Callum Westwood 17 Paul White
Yellow card: Mulligan,86