BIGGLESWADE TOWN 1-0 KETTERING TOWN

A counter attack on 41 minutes was the undoing of the Poppies impressive away record, as Joe White's tap in after Paul White  had made a another great save from Kieron Forbes, was enough to give the Waders the double over Kettering. Our photo, taken by Ed Palmer shows Paul White's brilliant early first half save. 

Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central

Saturday 16thMarch 2019   3:00pm

 

 

Biggleswade Town

 

 

Kettering town

 

1

 Sam Donkin

 

1

 Paul White

 

2

 Jack Bradshaw

 

12

 Dion Kelly-Evans

 

3

 Lucas Perry

 

16

 Craig Stanley

 

4

 Kieran Forbes (Capt)

 

4

 Brett Solkhon

 Off 80

5

 Jordan Gent 

 

14

 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner           

 

6

 David Longe-King

 

7

 Lindon Meikle          

 Off 74

7

 Shaun Lucien

 Off 83

6

 Michael Richens (Capt)        

 

8

 Solomon Nwaboukei

 

14

 Marcus Kelly

 

9

 Joe White  

 

5

 Gary Stohrer

 

10

 Matt Ball

 

11

 Rhys Hoenes

 

11

 Claudio Ofosu

 

9

 Dan Holman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      Substitutes

 

 

Substitutes

 

12

 Brett Donnelly 

 

2

 James Brighton 

 On 80

14

      

 

3

 Ben Toseland

 

15

 Ben Walster

 

10

 Ben Milnes 

 On 74

16

 Liam Brooks

 On 83

16

 Luke Graham

 

17

 Luca Allison

 

17

 Ben Bradshaw

 

 

    Referee:  Andrew Humphries                  Assistants: Luke Scott and Jack Scott

With Declan Towers being absent a spot at centre back needed to be filled. Brett Solkhon was chosen to fill that role with Lathaniel Rowe-Turner playing at left back despite having played alongside Craig Stanley effectively in previous matches, due to injuries to Towers. Two other left-backs and a central defender in the form of Brighton, Toseland and Graham had to be content with a spot on the bench. Kelly was deployed in midfield along side Stohrer, Richens and Meikle with Holman and Hoenes forming a partnership up front for the second game of O'Connor's suspension.

With the sky consisting of solid banks of grey cloud being blown by strong force winds the teams with Biggleswade in green and Kettering in blue changed ends before kick-off so that the visitors would play the first half with the wind at their backs. Biggleswade were fast out of the blocks and Paul White had to be on his very best to keep out an effort from Solomon Nwabuokei in the first minute which looked a certain goal but for a magnificent save. With the ball looking like it was already past him he reached out with his right hand and somehow turned the ball over. Minutes later Nwabuokei had a surging run down the middle but he put his shot wide. 

After six minutes, White almost undid his great early save when he made a poor clearance straight to a man in green. His' forward progress was stopped by an illegal intervention by Richens which earned the Kettering captain an early yellow card thereby reducing his combativeness for the rest of the game. The free-kick passed well over the bar. Three minutes later Biggleswade were awarded a free-kick midway inside their half which Sam Donkin their keeper decided to take. The ball was nodded on towards White who comfortably collected it and then launched a wind assisted kick down the park. Donkin rushed back to cover his goal and had to jump at full stretch to prevent the ball from clearing him after taking a bounce in the penalty area. 

Just before the fifteen minute mark Michael Richens played a ball forward through for Hoenes to chase. Rhys didn't manage to get round the defender but did enough to earn Kettering their first corner.  The ins winging corner wasn't dealt with well by the defence and after bouncing around the six yard box came to Brett Solkhon who powered his attempt past the far post. Biggleswade's two wide players Ofosu and Lucien were have success down the flanks but were having to settle for corners as a reward for their efforts. The Kettering defence without the presence of Towers were defending well. Biggleswade were also defending well and Kettering were struggling to make any impression. On one occasion where Biggleswade's big centre half did mis-judge the flight of the ball with Hoenes looking to run onto the loose ball he stopped the Kettering man's progress by extending his arm to block off Rhys' run but the obstruction was ignored by the referee.

On the half hour a Kettering free-kick from deep was not cleanly dealt with by the defence and after ricocheting around the area fell to Gary Stohrer on the edge of the box but his firm effort sailed over the bar. A minute later a patient Kettering build up led to Craig Stanley playing a ball into the penalty area to Holman. Dan pivoted on the spot but this left foot effort went wide of the post. Kettering were getting more into the match after a lacklustre first half hour. 

Ten minutes later the game turned. Kettering pushing forward trying to make the most of the following wind before half time were caught on a quick break. A ball from defence was played towards Joe White who despite Solkhon being close wasn't closed down and was allowed to pick out the advancing Wader's captain Kieran Forbes who had time and space to pick his spot. White was equal to it though and diving full length to his left managed to get a hand to the ball to stop it. Solkhon was outpaced by Joe White though, who reached the ball first to  pass it into the back of the empty net. 1-0 Biggleswade 41 mins.

Kettering thought that they had struck back almost immediately when a free kick from Stanley was pumped high into Biggleswade's goal area. Donkin made a complete hash of it and the ball passed over his hands and onto the cross-bar from where it bounced back to Solkhon who nodded it home from a yard out only to be denied by a off-side flag. In the two additional minutes to be played, quite short considering the slow rate of play displayed by Donkin for the whole of the half nothing of note occurred.

Half Time: Biggleswade Town  1   Kettering Town 0

Kettering were out first for the second half having to wait for the hosts to join them indicative of their intention  to slow the game as much as possible for the rest of the game. Biggleswade with the wind behind them were happy to sit back and defend with White being a lonely figure up front but Lucien and Ofosu looked dangerous and were willing to attack with pace down the flanks and Kettering took their time in getting going again after the break and producing little threat until winning a corner after twelve minutes. Three minutes later Kettering won another and the ball ended up with Hoenes who advanced into the box where he was stopped by Forbes. Rhys went down and an appeal for a penalty was made but with the referee identifying the forward merely awarded another corner. This was met by Richens who rose above the defenders but his header was deflected wide. Another corner from Biggleswade's left was partially cleared to Lindon Meikle who played a ball over to Marcus Kelly who'd moved into the box after taking the corner but his effort was put wide of the near post. Biggleswade were still dangerous on the counter attack and Joe White should have done better when a ball was played through for him to run onto but he put a good chance wide. 

With just under twenty-five minutes to go a ball from defence picked out Holman half-way in Biggleswade's half tight on the stand side touch-line. Dan showed great skill to work himself into a shooting position and his long range effort drifted just wide with the keeper beaten. The Waders were defending well if not attractively to the eye, unless you were a local, dealing with any ball played in the vicinity of a defender sent back in the direction it came from with gusto and wind assistance. A long goal-kick from White was firmly met by the head of Gent and set Lucien off on a run deep into Kettering territory. He did the hard work by beating his marker but sent his shot wide of the post. 

Kettering made a couple of substitutions to try and engineer an equaliser with Meikle being replaced by Milnes after seventy-four minutes and Solkhon making way for Brighton six minutes later.  Almost straight after a good chance for Kettering went begging when a ball in from the Hoenes on the left passed across the face of the goal but there was no-one there to convert it.  Three minutes later Biggleswade made their only change with Brooks coming on for Lucien. In the growing gloom of the final minutes, with the host's failing to switch on the floodlights, a couple of chances fell to Brighton but with James lacking in match practice it would have been asking a lot for him to have taken one of them. A miserly four minutes additional minutes were adjudged to be necessary despite the antics of Donkin rolling around on the floor at every opportunity and general time wasting by the home side which the officials did nothing to stop was not long enough for Kettering to conjure up another stoppage time goal. But, in truth, if Kettering had played until the floodlights were lit they would not have scored with Paul White being the only player who caused Donkin to make a meaningful save.

Full Time: Biggleswade Town 1   Kettering Town 0

Kettering: Yellow: Richens – foul

Biggleswade: Yellow: None

Kettering Town FC - Man of the match. Paul White.            

Attendance 443 (Approx 200 Poppies)