Match Report - Blyth Spartans

Half Time:

Kettering Town FC: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

Blyth Spartans: 3

Goals

Callum Roberts 00
Callum Roberts 00
Calum Roberts 00

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Full Time:

Kettering Town FC: 4

Goals

MIchael McGrath 45
Luke Graham 45
Lindon Meikle 45
Tre Mitford 45

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

Blyth Spartans: 4

Goals

Ryan Hutchinson 45

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Match Report

Kettering Town  v  Blyth Spartans

Vanarama National League North

Saturday 16th November 2019   3:00pm

 

 

Kettering Town

 

 

Blyth Spartans

 

1

 Paul White

 

 1

 Mark Foden

 

2

 Gary Stohrer

 

 2

 Rhys Evans

 

3

 Joe Skarz  (Capt) 

 Off 65

 3

 Anthony Callaghan

 

4

 Luke Graham    

 

 4

 Olly Scott

 

5

 Michael McGrath

 

 5

 Lewis Ritson 

 

6

 Ben Milnes 

 Off 81

 6

 Tom Devitt

 Off 12

7

 Joel Carta

 Off 46

 7

 Lewis Hawkins

 Off 81

8

 Aaron O’Connor

 

 8

 Jack Hunter

 

9

 Connor Kennedy

 

 9

 Michael Sweet

 Off 76

10

 Lindon Meikle

 

10

 Callum Roberts

 

11

 Marcus Kelly

 

11

 Robbie Dale (Capt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Substitutes

 

 

Substitutes

 

12

 Daniel Nti 

 On 46

12

 Ryan Hutchinson

 On 12

14

 Brett Solkhon

 

14

 Damien Mullen              

 On 81

15

 Tre Mitford     

 On 81

15

 Levi Amantchi  

 On 76

16

 Michael Richens  

 On 65

16

 Dylan McGlade   

 

17

 Mo Sebbeh

 

17

 Corey McKeown

 

 

Referee: Richard Holmes   Assistants: Daniel Smith and Christopher Hunter 

Despite Dan Nti returning from suspension Paul Cox stuck with the team which started the previous Saturday when the team achieved its first away win of the season. Joining Nti on the sub's bench was another returnee Michael Richens back from his loan period at Nuneaton.

Thanks to a band of volunteers armed with forks Blyth were saved a wasted journey with a late postponement. Blyth, in green and white stripes, kicked off on a heavy pitch not conducive to smooth flowing football, under a clear sky attacking the Tin Hat end.  The visitors started better and forced a corner after only two minutes when Callaghan got past Meikle and delivered a ball to the back post where Roberts' shot was blocked behind by McGrath.  The corner was cleared but Blyth struck right back attacking down the right. This time Stohrer was beaten and Callaghan delivered another cross into the middle where Sweet put his header over the bar.  Kettering won their first corner after six minutes after McGrath played a long ball downfield. Meikle chased the ball and pressurised the defender into conceding a corner. The corner was poorly delivered and Blyth broke swiftly through Roberts switching play from one end to the other and won his team a corner. From the resulting corner Sweet's header was cleared off the line by a defender.

Blyth were forced into an early substitution after only twelve minutes when Devitt and Milnes collided mid-way in Blyth's half.  The ball broke loose and Devitt and Milnes moved towards the ball. The Blyth player reached the ball first and cleared it. Ben tried to pull out of the challenge but due to the nature of the surface could not fully stop himself. The collision looked very minor but obviously Devitt had been unluckily caught in a vulnerable spot and could not continue. He was replaced by Ryan Hutchinson himself coming back from a long injury.

Just after the quarter hour mark Roberts advanced down Kettering's left, he cut inside of Skarz and shot just wide of the near post. A couple of minutes later a Blyth free-kick lifted into the box had to be punched away by White under pressure from a forward. The ball was returned back in the middle and ricocheted out for an unproductive corner. Kettering had seemed to have weathered the early storm and were feeling their way into the game when Blyth converted their pressure into a goal. A ball out of defence was played towards Marcus Kelly but Roberts beat him to the ball, he ran at Skarz turning the defender and cutting into the penalty area and firing in a fierce low shot. Paul White will be disappointed to have been beaten at his near post. 0-1 Blyth 26mins.

Kettering responded well with their best spell in the game so far with both McGrath and Carta trying their luck but both failed to get their efforts on target to test Foden.  On thirty-three minutes a ball out of defence picked out Aaron O'Connor, who did really well to hold up the ball despite the attention of three defenders. AO'C laid the ball off to Meikle but Lindon's curling shot from the edge of the box narrowly passed the wrong side of the post. It made a change from AO'C being flagged for off-side something that occurred numerous times in the first half. Just as it looked like Kettering were taking control Blyth  were awarded a free kick wide on Kettering's left when Joe Skarz fouled Roberts in an attempt to stop him. Roberts lifted the ball into the middle of the penalty area where a head nodded the ball out towards the far touch-line. The ball travelled towards an unmarked Hutchinson who met the ball first time on the volley and sent the ball screaming into net giving White no chance. 0-2 Blyth 36 mins.

It was now important that Kettering could make it to half-time without further loss in order to enable Pau Cox to engineer a plan to salvage something from the game. It was not to be however and with only one minute left of regulation time Callum Robets found himself in possession just outside Kettering's penalty area. The Kettering defenders appeared to be scared of challenging him and failed to close him down allowing him to move to his left where having made room for himself fired in an perfectly placed left footed shot which again gave White no chance. 0-3 Blyth 44 mins. 

In the three added minutes no further action took place with Kettering shell shocked and Blyth happy to see out the half content with their lead. 

Half Time: Kettering Town  0  Blyth Spartans 3

Kettering made one change at half-time with Dan Nti replacing Joel Carta with the home side despite what Paul Cox could have said to them facing defeat with a mountain to climb. 

It could have been so much  worse in the first minute of the second half when a ball was lifted into Kettering's penalty area. It was not adequately cleared and pounced on by Dale the Blyth captain.  He picked his spot and his low shot evaded the diving full stretch White. The shot hit the base of the post and cannoned back into play. A forward reached the ball first but Paul had reacted quickly and squared up to the danger making himself big and blocking the second shot. The action was called to a halt though with an off-side flag by the linesman. 

Ten minutes into the half and following a quick ball to Callum Roberts, he once again set about tormenting Skarz. He turned Joe back and forth and fired in a low ball across the face of the goal evading a final touch from Dale. The Kettering fans were thinking it was not to be their day when Dan Nti managed to get the ball in the net but the goal was disallowed for a foul committed in the build up. 

With fifty-eight minutes gone Kettering won a corner. Ben Milnes swung it in and Foden came out to the edge of the goal area to meet it but his punch was weak and the ball fell to AO'C by the penalty spot who lobbed it over the mass of players where Michael McGrath played on-side by the two defenders on the posts nodded it into the empty net. 1-3 Kettering 59 mins. Connor Kennedy picked up a booking in the celebration for something he said.

Twenty minutes into the half Kettering made their second substitution with Michael Richens replacing Joe Skarz, no doubt relieved about no longer facing Roberts. A minute later Kettering won another corner on the opposite side. Marcus Kelly took an in swinging corner. Dan Nti met the ball at the front post and helped it on its way.  Foden decided to stay on his line this time and instead of being in a position to cut out the ball could merely watch as it continued on its path to the unmarked Luke Graham who firmly headed the ball back the way it came into the net. 2-3 Kettering 66 mins.  

The game was swinging Kettering's way now and almost from the kick-off won another corner. This was defended by Blyth who cleared the ball out to Roberts standing half way inside his own half in plenty of space. He turned and made a bee-line for Kettering's goal.  Richens chased after him but the former Newcastle United player showed his class shrugging off Michael's challenge, leaving him in his wake. Meikle was next up but Callum skipped past him into the box. Paul White and three defenders closed on him and his first shot was blocked by the crowd. The rebound however returned to him and he coolly lobbed the ball over the crowd into the net to seal his hat-trick. 2-4 Blyth 69 mins.

Kettering did not lose heart and took the game straight back at Blyth being roared on by the Tin Hat. Two minutes after falling further behind a corner from the left was dropped by the unchallenged Foden. He was fortunate that no Poppy was close enough to stab the ball home and the keeper dropped gratefully onto the ball. The next minute another long throw from Kennedy fell into the box and passed across the face of the goal untouched. Sixty seconds later the goal which was coming arrived. AO'C out wide on the left took out two defenders with a crafty back heel leaving the overlapping Nti in acres of space. Dan looked up and with his first touch drove in a low cross. Ben Milnes running in at the near post overran the ball and it passed behind him but this served to distract the keeper and defenders leaving an open Lindon Meikle at the back post the simple task of side-footing the ball home. 3-4 Kettering 73 mins. 

Blyth tried to alter the flow of the game by replacing Sweet with a fresh pair of legs up front in the form of Levi Amantchi to no avail. With just under fifteen minutes to go another low cross fro the left was missed by Foden and travelled across the goal to Meikle. Lindon briefly lost his footing and that split second delay enabled Rhys Evans to block the shot and prevent the equaliser. Kettering had a loud shout for a penalty turned down by the referee when Dan Nti went down after a challenge from behind. If crowd noise were to sway decisions then it would have been a stone-wall penalty. 

On eighty minutes both sides made their final changes with McKeown replacing Hawkins and Tre Mitford, Ben Milnes. McKeown's first impact on the game was to receive a yellow card following a foul five minutes after coming on. With three minutes to go Blyth broke down Kettering's right and the winger played a dangerous ball into the box which Michael McGrath headed behind for safety. The corner came to nothing and play was swiftly moved up to the other end. The ball was played forward into the Blyth's penalty area on the media cabin side and the ball via a couple of deflections found itself goal bound. With a defender on the line Tre Mitford got in front of him and forced the ball home with his thigh to score his first goal for the club. From his joyous celebration it meant as much to him as it did to the fans behind the goal. 4-4 Kettering 89 mins.

In the four added minutes neither side could snatch the goal to take all three points but there was enough time for Dan Nti to pick up a yellow card.

Full Time: Kettering Town 4  Blyth Spartans 4

Whatever Paul Cox said at half time to the team worked. Most teams would have believed the game lost at half-time but a spirit of resilience and determination has been installed in the side. Callum Roberts is the best player to have appeared at Latimer Park in the time Kettering have played there but the manger's changes implemented at half-time made this match a game of two halves. A point was hard earned and Mr Cox will have learned much from this game about the task facing him.  The support given from the Tin Hat helped the players to achieve the result and hopefully this support will continue.  

Kettering Town yellow cards:  Kennedy – unsportsmanlike conduct,  Nti, O’Connor - foul

Blyth Spartans yellow cards:  Mullen - foul                 

Attendance: 810 

Elgoods Brewery- Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – chosen by Match Sponsor – The Stirrup Cup - Lindon Meikle.

Klondike Winner – Ticket No: 4763 - £200 collected by Paul Wildman.       


Team Sheet

Location: Home (Latimer Park)
Kick Off: 16th Nov 2019
Kettering Town FC
Red / Black
Captain:
0 Luke Graham
0 Lindon Meikle
0 MIchael McGrath
0 Tre Mitford
Blyth Spartans
Green
Captain:
0 Callum Roberts
0 Callum Roberts
0 Calum Roberts
0 Ryan Hutchinson