Match Report - GATESHEAD

Half Time:

Kettering Town FC: 1


Connor Johnson 00

Yellow Cards

Red Cards




Malley 00

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Red Cards


Full Time:

Kettering Town FC: 1


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Red Cards




Yellow Cards

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Match Report

Kettering Town v Gateshead

Vanarama National League North

Saturday 23rd April 2022   3:00pm


Kettering Town 



 Jackson Smith



 Flip Marschall



 Connor Barrett



 Robbie Tinkler      



 Alex Brown



 Mike Williamson          



 Chris Smith



 Louis Storey           



 Connor Johnson



 Matty Jacob

 Off 68


 George Cooper



 Owen Bailey



 Callum Stead

 Off 71


 Greg Olley (Capt)



 Connor Kennedy (Capt)



 Connor Malley           

 Off 75


 Gary Stohrer



 Adam Campbell



 Jordon Crawford

  Off 90+2


 Macaulay Langstaff



 Rhys Sharpe



 Cedwyn Scott















 Jack Smith



 Jack Hunter



 Decarrey Sheriff

  On 71


 Dan Ward

 On 75


 Saul Milovanovic



 Taylor Charters

 On 68


 Rhys Davies



 Carl Magnay



 Ty Deacon

  On 90+2





Referee:  Joel Mannix    Assistants:  Ryan McIlravey and Ryan Williams

After two tight games over the Easter low on goals, one, but high on points, four, this St George's day fixture would see Kettering entertain league leaders Gateshead sitting four points ahead of Brackley.  In the reverse fixture back in August at the International Stadium Gateshead dominated the first 45 minutes giving a football lesson. However, this is a very different Kettering team with eight of the squad from that game no longer at the club and a new management team.

After playing a flat back four at Kidderminster in a 4-3-2-1 formation Kettering reverted to their usual 3-5-2 formation. To accommodate this Jack Smith reverted to the bench for Chris Smith to line up in the back three in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up. Saul Milovanovic returned to the bench but still missing was Liam Daly suffering from a viral infection.

 On a beautiful spring day, sunny but with a blustery chill breeze, a prolonged dry spell had left the Latimer Park pitch baked hard with an uneven bounce. The harsh surface was only mitigated by the lush grass. Gateshead in pale blue shirts and claret shorts kicked off attacking the Tin Hat  populated with a small, considering their league position, number of travelling fans.

Kettering had the first attack of note forcing a corner in the third minute after some flowing football by the Poppies. The kick swung in from the open side by Gary Stohrer aimed towards the far post. Gateshead failed to clear the ball effectively and Kettering recycled the ball back out to Stohrer who returned the ball back into the danger area where once again the defence failed to deal with the threat and paid the price as the bouncing ball fell to Connor Johnson close to the penalty spot who fired the ball home giving Marschall no chance. 1-0 Kettering 4 mins.

Kettering buoyed by the early goal stayed on the front foot and a Alex Brown clearance was collected by Rhys Sharpe who pushed onto Crawford who threaded the ball into the path of Callum Stead who weaved his way into the penalty area and was shaping up to shoot but Louis Storey stuck to his task and stole the ball off the forward when any error in judgement would more than likely resulted in a penalty.  

After the initial action the game quietened down with Gateshead happy to retain possession and patiently build from the back but the final ball just seemed to elude them. The well drilled Gateshead defence were also containing Kettering's attacking intent until the twentieth minute when Crawford was sent down Gateshead's left by Kennedy. Jordon carried the ball to the edge of the penalty area but had to hold the ball up as he'd outrun his support but the delay allowed a defender to cover his move so he played the ball back to Barrett who had rushed forward in support. Connor continued the forward progress until tight on the by-line where he somehow managed to squeeze past the covering defender and send a cross into the middle where it was met by Connor Kennedy but his header drifted wide of the goal.

As the game went on Gateshead showed their professionalism with not so much a confidence on the difficult surface but an acceptance in what was or wasn't achievable with a degree of success. On twenty-four minutes Gateshead managed to breach Kettering's midfield line and were probing dangerously into Kettering's penalty area but George Cooper was alert to the danger and closed the forward down quickly to snuff out the attack at the expense of a corner which came to nothing. Two minutes later Gateshead were looking dangerous again patiently moving the around the edge of the penalty but the good approach work was let down by a wayward side-footed effort from the edge of the box from Owen Bailey which sailed high over the bar.

Just before the half hour mark Gateshead resorted to a spot of route one football with a wind assisted kick from hand by Flip Marschall travelled the length of the pitch over the heads of Kettering centre halves falling to the feet of Macauley Langstaff 1v1 against Jackson Smith but Kettering got a let off as the scoring machine fluffed his lines by lifting the ball over the keeper but also well over the bar.

Five minutes later the Kettering supporters thought that the referee would produce the first card of the game when Crawford was clipped by Matty Jacob as he was about to accelerate past him and into the acres of space yawning in front of him. Mr Mannix awarded a free kick but deemed no other action necessary.

With five minutes remaining in the half Gateshead got the goal that looked on the cards for some time as Kettering started defending deeper and deeper conceding territory to the Heed as the visitors applied a building pressure on the Kettering defence. An initial shot was blocked but not effectively cleared and the ball fell to Connor Malley centrally placed and just inside the penalty area who with time and space picked his spot low and hard into the corner of the goal giving Smith no chance 1-1 Gateshead 40 mins.

With Kettering looking unsettled by the goal Gateshead came forward once again looking to take advantage but Connor Johnson taking one for the team committed a foul to break up a promising attack earning him the first yellow card of the card to add to his growing total. The resulting free kick was cleared by the defence.  

The final action of the half was a attack by Kettering with a penetrating run down Gateshead's right by Crawford. Looking like he was going to go to the by-line for a cross into the middle he cut inside his marker as he entered the penalty area fired in a snap shot but only found the side netting.

 Half Time: Kettering Town 1  Gateshead 1

Gateshead made the more positive start to the second half again willing to retain possession and work an opening rather than cough up the ball to the hosts. Four minutes had been played of the second half when Gateshead were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area just outside thee penalty area following a foul by Kennedy.  The resulting kick was poor being sent straight into the wall but the ball fell to Gateshead who lifted the ball over the top to Olley at the far post who headed the ball back to Jacob who squandered the chance by shooting over.

The game then settled into a quiet period with Gateshead probing but Kettering's defence solid offering no openings.


Just on the hour mark Mr Mannix produced his second yellow card of the game, this time to Louis Storey committing a foul close to the corner flag on Barrett in a similar situation which earned Johnson his first half booking. The free kick was punched clear by Marschall.

A rare Kettering attack after sixty-seven minutes saw Connor Barrett move forward purposefully down Kettering's right going past two defenders before switching play to the opposite wing picking out Brown. Alex continued the forward progress and played a ball into Stead in the penalty area but Callum's finish did not match the build up as his shot sailed high over the bar.

Gateshead made their first change shortly after with Taylor Charters replacing Matty Jacob. Three minutes later Kettering swapped Decarrey Sheriff for Callum Stead.

With just over a quarter of an hour left Kettering won a corner on the stand side as Sheriff made his first contribution pressing forward on the stand side and forcing Storey into playing the ball behind. The in swinging kick by Rhys Sharpe assisted by the wind caused all sorts of problems as it brushed against the crossbar catching Marschall out of position but no Poppy could apply the vital touch and the ball was bundled away for a Kettering throw-in. Before play restarted Gateshead made their second substitution with Dan ward replacing goal scorer Connor Malley. The long throw-in by Sharpe was cleared and led to a 2v2 break by Gateshead but Barrett and Brown left back as cover managed to hold up play long enough for defenders to get back in numbers and by the time Campbell was in a position to shoot his effort was blocked by Brown.

With time ticking down Gateshead who were in the ascendancy starting committing more players forward and this led to the third caution of the game as a Gateshead attack broke down with Kettering looking to attack on the counter Olley tripped Barrett to break up the move.

Jordon Crawford was still full of running and with five minutes to go he closed down keeper Marschall and Williamson inside the Gateshead penalty area as the two visitors dallied over clearing the ball. Jordon got a boot on the ball but the rub of the green favoured the Heed and the ball was cleared sparing the blushes of Keeper and Player/Manager.

With ninety minutes played and the game into time added on by Mr Maddix, which he had not communicated how much to the side-line, Kettering made a second substitution with the exhausted Crawford withdrawn for Ty Deacon. With the Kettering supporters willing for the final whistle, it was unclear where the added time had come from with no players receiving treatment in the second half and only three substitutions. Mr Maddix finally called a halt to proceedings after four additional minutes.

 Full Time: Kettering Town 1  Gateshead  1

Kettering battled toe to toe with full time opposition who showed the benefit of being a professional outfit. Both sides tried to play football under difficult conditions of the breeze and playing surface and played it in a sporting manner with Mr Mannix unduly concerned by the behaviour of all the players. With Gateshead vying for the automatic promotion spot and the title one might have expected the building pressure to be displayed in histrionics or tantrums but the visitors retained their dignity throughout. Kettering for their part handled the growing match pressure as the game went on but looked disciplined and defensively solid to the final whistle with Jackson Smith not tested in the second half.

Kettering Town yellow cards: Johnson – foul

Gateshead yellow cards:  Storey, Olley – fouls

Attendance: 915

Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – George Cooper  – chosen by Bryony Gates & Friends  

 For a young man George Cooper shows a level of coolness under pressure not achieved by players with vastly more experience than him. Another level headed display on top of a similar performance 5 days earlier at Kidderminster. The experiences and lessons learnt by him during his spell at Kettering will serve both him and his parent club, Mansfield, well in the future.

Klondike winning ticket No – 04116 claimed by Sue Samuel who wins £235.

Team Sheet

Location: Home (LATIMER PARK)
Kick Off: 23rd Apr 2022
Kettering Town FC
0 Connor Johnson
0 Malley