Match Report - Ashton United
Kettering Town FC: 0
Ashton United: 1
Louis Almond 00
Kettering Town FC: 2
Decarrey Sheriff 45
Connor Kennedy 45
Ashton United: 1
At half time in this game Kettering were behind to a 35th minute Louis Almond penalty and Ashton were well worth their lead. With the onset of monsoon conditions in the second half, the Poppies showed their metal. A heroic performance against their hosts and the elements, saw a hard earned away victory with goals well converted by Decarrey Sheriff on 68 minutes and Connor Kennedy five minutes later.
THE KETTERING SQUAD:
Ryan Fryatt (ill) joined Luke Graham in the treatment room, which gave Connor Johnson a first start for the Club in the only change to the starting lineup. Sam Jones was back in the squad, on the substitutes bench.
The teams lined up:
1 Greg Hartley
2 Jacques Kpohomouh
3 John Pritchard
4 Michael Brewster (Captain) (14 Sam Sheridan,80)
5 Joel Bembo-Leta
6 Sam Baird
7 Ben Hardcastle (17 Bradley Lynch,74)
8 Jake Cottrell
9 Louis Almond
10 Harvey Macadam (12 Tom Bentham,74)
11 Millenic Alli
15 Chris Rowney
18 Matthew Grimshaw
Yellow Cards:Kpohomouh,28; Lynch,90
1 Adam Collin
2 Gary Stohrer
3 Jevan Anderson
4 Ben Milnes
5 Connor Johnson
6 Michael McGrath (Captain)
7 Ben Stephens (16 Jay Williams,83)
8 Connor Kennedy
9 Kyle Perry
10 Michael Richens
11 Decarrey Sheriff (Ethan Johnston, 90+2)
12 Sam Jones
13 Jacob Wood
14 Ashanti Pryce
17 Connor Duggan
18 David Chapman
Yellow cards: McGrath,32; Richens,49; Johnson,60; Collin,90+4
Within seconds of kick off, Ashton broke down their left. Millenic Alli got clear and his low left foot shot hit the outside of the left upright.
Kettering’s first sight of goal saw Ben Milnes’ shot saved by keeper, Greg Hartley, after Connor Kennedy’s long throw was scrambled away. Anther Kennedy missile on 8 minutes was cleared to Jevan Anderson but he mishit his shot.
Ashton were the more controlled side in these early stages and the experienced Louis Almond was a handful, using his body and arms ‘Perry style’ to put off his markers. His 11th minute 25-yard low drive was collected by Adam Collin.
The Poppies forced three corners in succession on 14 minutes and all were defended solidly. Ashton had similar pressure on the visiting defence four minutes later as Alli won a corner and Connor Johnson made two good clearances. Alli put a direct free kick over the bar on 21 minutes after a dubious looking foul by Johnson on Almond gave the hosts a set piece from 22 yards.
Ben Milnes got in a low shot on 24 minutes which was easy for Hartley to take. Kettering got forward on the right-hand side a couple of minutes later and Kennedy’s run along the goal line was halted by a foul tackle right on the line of the penalty area. Michael McGrath’s free kick saw the Referee halt the game for a home free kick. The game was getting niggly with a number of free kicks, and both Jacques Kpohomouh and McGrath entered the Referee’s notebook for fouls.
The dangerous Alli got a great low cross in but there was no one to convert. However on 35 minutes Almond did convert – this time from the penalty spot as Johnson hauled him over – and Ashton were in front.
In the minutes before the break, the Poppies tried to get back into the game with Richens firing wildly wide, Perry’s back header running through to Hartley and Decarrey Sheriff won a corner on the left - but any chance of a goal attempt was extinguished as the Referee blew for a Kettering offence.
ASHTON UNITED 1 - 0 KETTERING TOWN
With light rain showers forecast, no one could have predicted what faced the teams on the resumption. What could be described as monsoon-like conditions prevailed for most of the half and predictably the pitch became very heavy in places.
Another free kick won by Almond in the first minute of the half saw Sam Baird meet the resultant free kick from the right, with a diving header, and the ball flashed across goal. It was a great chance. Kettering replied and McGrath set up Milnes, but the midfielder’s left foot shot was straight at the keeper.
Almond was finally warned by the Referee for persistent fouling – a last warning before a caution- and somewhat surprisingly was allowed to continue his antics for the rest of the game without any action by the Referee. Richens was yellow carded however, quite rightly, for a body check to halt a promising break by the home side.
As the weather worsened, Kettering improved (was it just like playing at Latimer Park?). Kennedy’s 53rd minute long throw was headed on by Kyle Perry – but there was no Kettering player there to take advantage. Then a foul on Sheriff by home skipper, Michael Brewster, saw the free kick pushed away by Hartley. Milnes’ 58th minute free kick was punched away by the keeper as Kettering began to control the game.
But, on 64 minutes, a home breakaway saw Alli fire a left foot shot over the bar from a good position as he came in from the right. Then Ben Hardcastle made a similar move but his shot was deflected over for a fruitless corner.
The Poppies equalised on 68 minutes. From a long throw, McGrath collected the clearance on the Kettering left. He showed great control and awareness and got in a right foot cross which was guided into the net by Sheriff for his fourth goal in two games.
Kettering were growing in confidence and Ben Stephens’ 70th minute direct free kick came off a Kettering player on its way to goal. With Hartley wrong footed he was relieved to see the deflection drop wide of his left post.
Kettering went ahead on 73 minutes. Sheriff won a corner down the right. The cross was headed on and Kennedy turned the ball in with an athletic overhead kick. At this stage the Poppies were deservedly in front as the rains came again with a vengeance.
Adam Collin was called on to make an excellent double save to keep Kettering in the game, especially as he appeared to lose his footing in trying to keep out the second attempt. The next attack saw Collin spill the very wet ball- but he recovered to collect as he was fouled on the ground.
The injured Ben Milnes was replaced by Jay Williams as the rain was incessant and the last few minutes saw Adam Collin make an excellent save and Kettering managed the game well to claim the win.
ASHTON UNITED 1 - 2 KETTERING TOWN
Referee: Daniel Locker. Assistants: Jamie Waters and Gareth Thomas. Fourth Official: Samuel Wright
Poppies man of the Match: Michael McGrath – a captain’s performance, cool under pressure and a goal assist. Special mentions also for Gary Stohrer and Connor Kennedy.
Our next league game is a home game against Brackley Town on Boxing Day, Saturday 26th December, at 3pm.
Match report posted by Sadman KTFC.