Match Report - DARLINGTON
Kettering Town FC: 0
Kettering Town FC: 1
Decarrey Sheriff 45
This will be a short report. The game was spoiled by very strong winds and a tacky pitch (which is owned by Darlington Rugby Club), and this made it difficult for any real quality in the game. Kettering won with a superb finish from Decarrey Sheriff in the 70th minute- which was the Poppies’ only shot on target.
THE KETTERING SQUAD:
Jackson Smith, after a bout of Covid, was able to replace the injured Rhys Davies in goal, which was the only change to the starting eleven. The bench was back up to strength, with Chris Smith returning from injury and loanee, the returning Lauric Diakiesse and Charlie O’Connell completing the five.
The teams lined up:
1 Tommy Taylor
7 Ben Hedley
8 Will Hatfield (Captain)
12 Danny Ellis
17 Jack Lambert
18 Jake Cassidy
19 Kevin Dos Santos (11 Jarrett Rivers,75)
20 Jake Lawlor
22 Tyrone O’Neill
26 Kallum Griffiths (15 James Beauchamp,90+1)
30 Danny Rose
3 George Smith
6 Alex Storey
23 Alex Purver
Yellow Cards: None
1 Jackson Smith
2 Connor Barrett
3 Alex Brown
4 Rhys Sharpe
5 Connor Johnson
6 George Cooper
8 Connor Kennedy (Captain)
9 Gary Stohrer (12 Chris Smith,46)
10 Jordan Crawford (7 Charlie O’Connell,90+1)
11 Ricardo Calder (46 Lauric Diakiesse,46)
17 Decarrey Sheriff
14 Kevin Joshua
15 Saul Milovanovic
Yellow card: Kennedy,58
Kettering started with any benefit the strong wind was to give, albeit it was sweeping across the pitch as well as at Kettering’s backs. The Poppies started on the offensive with a couple of long throws into the box by Rhys Sharpe, which came to nothing.
Home skipper, Will Hatfield created the first real opening of the game as he shot across goal from a decent position. At the other end, Sharpe tried a couple of in swinging corners from the right but it was difficult to gauge the effect of the wind and the crosses ended up behind the goal.
On 12 minutes Decarrey Sheriff, put his shot over the bar although the assistant’s flag went up for offside. Both teams were finding it difficult to control the ball and players were being caught in possession in a very scrappy opening to the game.
A Darlington break on the right saw a cross flash across goal and a timely interception from George Cooper from a Quakers’ break on the left snuffed out a threat.
More Sharpe corners for Kettering went unrewarded as one sailed past the far post and another hit the side netting with home keeper, Tommy Taylor, watching closely.
On a number of occasions, the wind won the race for the ball as it ran away from the players into the corner.
A pretty average first half nearly saw a 45th minute goal for the home side as Jackson Smith spilled a high cross, but the recipient of the gift, Jack Lambert ballooned his shot well over the bar.
DARLINGTON 0 - 0 KETTERING TOWN
Kettering made two immediate substitutions at the start of the half, as Chris Smith replaced Ricardo Calder, and Lauric Diakiesse made his full debut, replacing Gary Stohrer as the formation was changed to counter the conditions.
The Poppies again started well with Jordan Crawford sweeping a cross in from the left, and then Connor Kennedy did the same from the right – but there were no takers in front of goal.
For Darlington, Jack Lambert put his shot well wide from a decent position. Then Diakiesse fed Sheriff, but Taylor collected the cross. Sheriff then got in a good cross from the left which went begging.
In fairness the game hadn’t really improved as a spectacle and in many ways, you had to have sympathy for the players.
On 66 minutes, though, Darlington had their best chance to date as Jake Cassidy met a cross from the right – but his firm header was just wide of the right post. Jackson Smith then did very well to push a Tyrone O’Neill shot away for a corner as he got off his line quickly.
The Poppies scored on 70 minutes, really out of nowhere. A punt down the middle seemed to evade Diakiesse, but also split home central defenders, Danny Ellis and Jake Lawlor. This allowed the alert Sheriff to run onto the ball and place a left foot curled shot past Taylor and in high at the left upright. It was a quality finish.
The Quakers responded well and the lively Lambert put a dangerous cross along the six-yard box. Then Hatfield received a ball from the right but his left foot drive was well over the bar.
Kettering successfully saw out the game with some solid defending and possession and could have seen another goal as Kennedy and Crawford combined to create a shot for Alex Brown- but the home defence scrambled the ball away.
After four minutes of added time the Poppies claimed the win- their first against Darlington.
DARLINGTON 0 - 1 KETTERING TOWN
Match Officials: Referee: Paul Brown; Assistants: Darius Bradley,Majid Ali.
Attendance: 1310 (Poppies fans estimated at 75 )
Poppies Media Man of the Match: Decarrey Sheriff
Forthcoming HOME games:
Tuesday February 1st: Southport at 7.45pm
Saturday February 5th: Leamington at 3pm
Saturday February 19th: York City at 3pm
Tuesday February 22nd: AFC Telford United at 3pm
Forthcoming away games:
Tuesday February 8th at Alfreton at 7.45pm
Saturday February 12th at Blyth Spartans at 3pm
Saturday February 26th at Boston United at 3pm
Match report posted by Sadman KTFC.