Match Report - Hungerford Town
Kettering Town FC: 1
Gary Mulligan 10
Hungerford Town: 0
Kettering Town FC: 2
Courtney Baker-Richardson 79
Gary Mulligan 49
Liam Canavan > Jevani Brown70
Dubi Ogbonna > Saul Williams73
Elliot Sandy > Andy Gooding81
Hungerford Town: 1
Mark Draycott 93
Shane Gore 60
Gary Horgan > Harry Goodger68
James Clark > Nat Jarvis69
Matt Collins > Scott Rees69
In a game of cat and mouse, with relatively few chances, The Poppies overcame the direct play of The Crusaders to win 2-1 with goals from Gary Mulligan in the first half and Courtney Baker-Richardson with 11 minutes to go.
Hungerford’s consolation was an added time penalty from Mark Draycott, and Kettering had a spot kick of their own but Dubi Ogbonna saw his 60th minute penalty saved.
After Tuesday’s defeat there were a number of changes made by Marcus Law as Jamie McAlindon replaced Enol Ordonez in goal. In came Ollie Thorne, Dominic Langdon and Elliot Sandy who replaced Richard Bryan, Will Grocott and Andy Gooding.
For the second consecutive game, The Poppies again were slow off the blocks as a second minute Hungerford free kick, on the left, saw the ball flash across goal with no one there to apply the finish.
Hungerford were looking to impose themselves physically and fortunately The Poppies formation included all their big players, which was to prove crucial in the end analysis.
Kettering were working hard just to get the ball and it wasn’t until the ninth minute that they threatened - as Liam Canavan’s shot was deflected for a corner. From the restart Kettering opened the scoring.
James Brighton’s corner from the left was met by Gary Mulligan’s header and the ball was cleared off the line. Ollie Thorne fired the loose ball into the ground and as the ball reared up, Mulligan reacted the quickest to head the ball high into the net.
Hungerford should have equalised four minutes later as a through ball on the left caught The Poppies cold, and James Clark had a great opportunity but Jamie McAlindon came off his line and Clark hit the shot wide with his weaker foot.
Clark had another chance a few minutes later as he picked up a poor defensive header, but this time on his stronger right foot he ballooned the ball high over the bar.
For Kettering, Steve Kinniburgh’s dangerous looking cross couldn't find a teammate and Canavan saw a shot blocked.
Back came Hungerford and The Poppies were indebted to Dom Langdon, who cleared a shot off the line from Gary Horgan.
Dubi Ogbonna’s 34th minute cross was well taken by visiting keeper, Shane Gore.
The visitors were launching long throws from both sides into the Kettering penalty area and trying to force a goal which, on 37 minutes, created a decent chance for Mark Draycott, but he leaned back and lifted the ball over the bar.
James Brighton sent over a lovely cross but Elliot Sandy’s header was straight at Gore, and Courtney Baker-Richardson saw a shot deflected to Gore.
In added time of the first period, a great move involving Ogbonna and Brighton saw Canavan head straight at Gore.
The second half was to be more of the same. A physical battle – more long throws into the Kettering six yard box and few chances at either goal.
Ogbonna’s 46th minute cross was well held by Gore and virtually straight away, Brett Solkhon had to make a hasty clearance at the other end.
The Poppies had the perfect chance to double their lead on the hour as Ogbonna ran clear into the penalty area. The referee adjudged that keeper Gore had brought down the striker and awarded the penalty, with Gore yellow carded.
Gore made amends by saving Ogbonna’s spot kick.
The visitors’ long throws continued and on 62 minutes Jon Boardman headed wide from one of these. Then Draycott fired a left foot shot over the bar.
A couple of minutes later Canavan had a shot for Kettering, which was deflected wide, before the midfielder set up Solkhon - but he fired over the bar.
Both teams used their full allocation of substitutes and the Kettering changes saw Jevani Brown, Saul Williams and Andy Gooding introduced and the changes seemed to be the more effective.
Williams and Brown combined well and they linked up well to provide a cross that was just too high for Baker-Richardson.
The same combination, on 79 minutes, saw The Poppies second goal.
Brown won the ball well and set Williams up for a shot on the right and the effort deflected into the path of Baker-Richardson, and he made no mistake with a low drive under Gore from 16 yards.
The Poppies looked to play out the game and relied on the solid defence and breakaways. Man of the match, Brighton, did have the best effort though as his left foot chip tried to beat Gore but was just over the bar.
The Crusaders scored what was to be a consolation from the penalty spot in the 3rd minute of added time.
As Jamie McAlindon collected the ball, a firm blocked by Thorne on Jarvis saw the penalty awarded and Draycott converted.
However the three points were won a couple of minutes later.
It had been a solid comeback after Tuesday’s defeat.
Match Sponsors: The Knottley Crew
Man of the Match: James Brighton
Klondike: 1st Prize (£145) Number: 1162 Winner: Matthew Demonti
Runners-Up Prize (Both 2x £10 tickets for the Steve Walsh/Alan Birchenall Evening, Friday 9th October at Latimer Park):
Number: 1173 Winner: E. Eaves
Number: 1193 Winner: Diane Mullin
Poppies Trust Club £500: Numbers 124 and 256 – both Ann Browne and Ian Wade who won £60.