Match Report - Alfreton Town

Half Time:

Kettering Town FC: 1

Goals

Tre Mitford 00

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

Alfreton Town: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Full Time:

Kettering Town FC: 2

Goals

Tre Mitford 45

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

Alfreton Town: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Match Report

Vanarama National League North

Saturday 21st December 2019   3:00pm

 

 

Alfreton Town

 

 

Kettering Town

 

 1

 Jordan Wright

 

 1

 Paul White

 

 2

 Josh Clackstone

 Off 70

 2

 Gary Stohrer 

 

 3

 Danny Preston

 

 3

 Matt Taylor

 Off 72

 4

 Josh Thacker

 

 4

 Luke Graham  (Capt) 

 

 5

 Dominic Smith

 Off 46

 5

 Michael McGrath  

 

 6

 Shane Killock

 Off 70

 6

 Brett Solkhon  

 

 7

 Conor Branson 

 

 7

 Dan Nti

 

 8

 Jude Oyibo

 

 8

 Tre Mitford

 

 9

 Danny Clarke

 

 9

 Connor Kennedy

 

10

 Amari Morgan-Smith

 

10

 Ben Milnes 

 

11

 Bobby Johnson

 

11

 Marcus Kelly

 

 

 (Capt)

 

 

 

 

 

Substitutes

 

 

Substitutes

 

12

 Ryan Qualter

 On 46

12

 Michael Richens

 On 72

13

 Charlie Andrew

 

14

 Joel Carta         

 

14

 Ben Tomlinson            

 On 70

15

 Mo Sebbeh 

 

15

 David Lynch 

 On 70

16

 

 

16

 Danny East   

 

17

 

 

 

Referee: Scott Simpson   Assistants: Ashley Royston and Matthew Tyres 

Kettering's paper thin squad was still being stretched with Paul Cox able to name only three substitutes. Brett Solkhon was back and went straight into a centre back trio. This week Lindon Meikle was added to the injury list joining Aaron O'Connor and long term sufferers Joe Skarz and Javan Vidal. Ben Milnes was fit enough to be added to the starting XI with Michael Richens reverting to the bench. Tre Mitford was selected to lead the forward line, his first league start for the Poppies, looking to build on his second half display in Manchester.  

 Following an early morning pitch inspection, deemed necessary because of the amount of rain experienced during the week, the surface was declared fit for purpose. Despite being the final Saturday before Christmas it was surprisingly mild and the pitch looked in fine condition. 

Kettering in blue and white stripes kicked off playing down the slight incline towards the open end with Alfreton in all red. Alfreton's, Kettering born, newly signed goalkeeper Jordan Wright got an early touch coming off is line to collect a ball lobbed by Milnes over Alfreton's back line for Mitford to run onto.  Alfreton immediately showed that they could be dangerous moving the ball quickly as Morgan-Smith played the ball off to Oyibo on his outside. He managed to beat Taylor with a disconcerting ease and returned the ball to Morgan-Smith who lifted the ball into Kettering's penalty area. McGrath got his head to it and steered it back to his goalkeeper. White went up for the ball but was unable to collect it cleanly because of the close attention of Clarke. The referee deemed the challenge to be unfair and awarded Kettering a free-kick. 

Two minutes later Oyibo bested Taylor for a second time earning his side a corner. The delivery was a good one but evaded every one ending up going out for a throw-in on the far side. Alfreton were making the better start and the majority of the game was being played in Kettering's territory but despite a second corner after eight minutes Kettering's back three were controlling the pressure with White not being called into action.

Kettering's first significant attack came from Stohrer breaking forward down Alfreton's left. Gary's cross was put out by a defender giving Kennedy his first chance to deliver a long throw into the box, this was headed behind for Kettering's first corner. Milnes delivery was good but was cleared by Clackstone at the back post. 

Alfreton were still pressing at the other end and won a corner on the quarter hour mark which was dealt with ease by the Kettering defence. Four minutes later another Alfreton corner caused a little bit more concern in the Kettering area but with the ball refusing to fall for a forward it was managed to be scrambled away by the defence.

The game produced its first yellow card after twenty-four minutes when Milnes' name went into the book. Kettering were attacking with Milnes in possession when he was challenged for the ball it broke a couple of yards away from Ben who moved towards it in to retain control when a defender dove into to clear the ball making contact with the Kettering player. The referee blew his whistle with the visitors expecting a free-kick when Mr Simpson awarded it to the host's booking Ben in the process. One of many questionable decisions from the referee.

On twenty-eight minutes a fine pass was played forward for Mitford to run onto. Smith was right on his shoulder vying for the ball. The defender then appeared to give up his chase either realising Tre was going to beat him to the ball or considering that the ball was going to run away down the slope and go behind for a goal kick. Tre didn't give up though and reached the ball, controlled it and turned towards goal with just the keeper to beat. He kept his composure and struck a low shot aimed toward the far corner of the goal. The tall keeper should have done better but the ball left him flat-footed and Kettering had converted their first real chance to take the lead. 0-1 Kettering 28 mins. 

Five minutes later and Alfreton could have had a equaliser. Morgan-Smith broke down Kettering's left and crossed the ball deep to the far post where Johnson nodded the ball down for Preston to send it goalwards. Paul White produced a fine point blank range pure reaction save and turned the ball over the bar for a corner which came to nothing. 

With ten minutes to go to half time Nti was fouled, again, to give Kettering a free-kick some 25 yards out, just left of centre, perfect positioning for Milnes. Ben struck the kick well but too close to Wright, but such was the power he had to grab the ball at the second attempt.  

Kettering were getting on top now and a drive forward was cleared by Wright but his clearance was poor sending it straight to Kelly. Marcus advanced with the ball with two defenders in close proximity before playing the ball square to Mitford but Tre put his shot wide. 

With just over five minutes left in the half Alfreton were awarded a free-kick some 35 yards out. Johnson lifted it into Kettering's penalty area where it went behind for a corner. Johnson's kick was swung into the middle where White had to punch it on its' way for another corner on the opposite side which came to nothing. 

As Kettering were beginning to dominate the half so Alfreton's tackling became more questionable. A two footed lunge by Branson on Taylor just in front of the majority of the Kettering fans seemed poorly punished by the awarding of a throw-in where Matt was concentrating on avoiding being clattered. With less than two minutes to go in the half Kennedy was driving towards Alfreton's penalty area when he was cut down from behind by Oyibo a foot outside of the penalty area. Mr Simpson awarded a free-kick but when questioned by Milnes how that challenge was less deserving of a caution that the one for which he was cautioned, the referee offered no creditable explanation. Ben lifted the ball into the box where it was put behind by Preston for a corner. Milnes corner was once again delivered well towards the far post where Kennedy with a free header should have doubled Kettering's advantage.

Half Time: Alfreton Town  0  Kettering Town  1

Alfreton made one change at half-time with Qualter replacing Smith who was culpable for Kettering's goal. Alfreton started the half positively looking to cancel out Kettering's lead but the blue shirts looked disciplined and determined to maintain their advantage. The first action of note of the second half was a caution for Alfreton's left back Preston for an unintentional kick on Stohrer.  

Nti was guilty of a glaring miss after fifty-three minutes following a long-throw in from Kennedy. The throw into the box was nodded on in the direction of Nti but Dan swung and completely missed the ball, he retained his composure though and re engineered an opening but it was deflected behind for a corner. Milnes, corner came to nothing as Mr Simpson whistled for an unseen offence committed by the attacking team.  

Ten minutes into the half and Alfreton produced their first spell of pressure of the second half. A long-throw was flicked on by Morgan-Smith into the danger area but it was quickly closed down by a blue shirt and the ball had to be recycled and but the resulting shot blocked and cleared by another defender. Five minutes later Johnson drove forward on Kettering's right but his shot was deflected behind for a corner. Alfreton took a short corner with aim to confuse the defence with the ball being played back to the original taker to lift into the middle. The subsequent shot was blocked behind for a second corner which this time was comprehensively cleared by the defence resulting in Kettering breaking into Alfreton's half with Mitford in possession. He held the ball up well allowing other Kettering players to get forward to support him, however the attack broke down. 

Just after the hour mark Alfreton were awarded a free-kick in front of the main stand and the ball was lifted into Kettering's penalty area where it was headed clear, falling to Stohrer. Gary surged forward with the ball and with Alfreton committing players forward seeking an equaliser he was able to carry the ball the length of the park before aiming a cross in towards Nti. It was slightly mis-judged though and ended up on the roof of the net. 

With twenty minutes to go Alfreton made their last roll of the dice with a double substitution with Tomlinson and Lynch replacing Clackstone and Killock. Two minutes later Kettering made their only change with Matt Taylor being replaced by Richens. Michael slotted into midfield with Kelly dropping back to left-back.

Alfreton did manage to get the ball into Kettering's net but the effort was ruled out for a forward straying off-side, not for the first time in the second half with Kettering's experienced defensive trio co-ordinating well, controlling and containing Alfreton's attacking threat. 

As Alfreton were getting more desperate for an equaliser Nti and Mitford were running tirelessly closing down defenders in possession defending Kettering's goal in the opponents half. This pressure paid off as Preston mis-placed a pass forward straight to a Kettering player allowing the visitor's to break through Nti. Dan held the ball up and delayed his actions in order for support to arrive, however he  pressed on himself into the box before firing into the side-netting. Two minutes later  Kettering broke once again. This time down the opposite side, Alfreton's right, through Mitford. Again Tre showed great composure on the ball breaking behind the last defender and as the keeper squared up to him he curled the ball to the keeper's left the ball clipping the inside of the far post on its way to the back of the net much to the joy of the fans behind the goal.1-2 Kettering 77 mins.  

With less than ten minutes to go Kettering were pressing for a third with Nti breaking forward he turned inside the defender shoot and the ball deflected off the defender for an obvious corner for which Mr Simpson awarded a goal kick. With five minutes to go Johnson had a long range effort from outside the penalty area which was a routine save for White. Three minutes later White produced an anything but routine save. Johnson once again was the provider of the cross to Morgan-Smith who powered a header goal bound. Paul flung himself full stretch to his left and turned the ball around the post with a magnificent save to preserve his clean sheet. 

In the remaining time including four additional minutes, which with no players needing treatment, only two substitutions and no players warned for wasting time seemed to come from nowhere Alfreton could not pierce Kettering's defensive shield.

Full Time: Alfreton Town  0  Kettering Town  2

A threadbare squad struggling to fill the substitutes bench against a rested side having not played for a fortnight with players being brought into reinforce an already large squad.  Paul Cox and John Ramshaw used the disappointment of exiting the Trophy last week to re-ignite the fire in this tight core of players who gave their all out on the pitch giving the team and its' supporters an early Christmas gift of three points. The side continued their unbeaten league record under Mr Cox and produced their third straight league clean sheet. The travelling fans went home happy and hopefully this will result in a bumper Boxing Day home crowd.

Alfreton Town  - yellow cards:  Preston - foul                 

Kettering Town - yellow cards:  Milnes- foul,

Attendance: 493

Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – Tre Mitford – The whole team produced fine performances. Two brilliant saves by White, a solid defensive triumvirate of McGrath, Graham and Solkhon shackling Alfreton’s strike force and 100% effort shown by all twelve players. But handed the responsibility of leading the line in his first league start Mitford did everything that manager Cox could have asked from him. He showed great composure to convert his two chances into goals which will have given his self-confidence a major boost. 

 

 


Team Sheet

Location: Away (Alfreton)
Kick Off: 21st Dec 2019
Kettering Town FC
Blue
Captain:
0 Tre Mitford
0 Tre Mitford
Alfreton Town
Red
Captain: