CHESHAM UNITED 2 - 0 KETTERING TOWN

IN BRIEF:

The Poppies went down to two second half goals against a solid Chesham side this afternoon. They had chances in the first period to go well ahead in the game- but were undone with two well taken breakaway goals from Lewis Toomey in the 68th minute and Shane Bush after 79 minutes. Kettering visibly tired in the second period- no doubt after the midweek 18 hour round trip to Tiverton.

THE KETTERING SQUAD:

The same starting eleven as at Tiverton, with Michael Richens and Alex Metcalfe coming onto the bench, and Callum Willimont dropping out.

Team line-ups:

CHESHAM UNITED: 1 Hafed Al-Droubi 2 Benji Crilley 3 Gerardo Smaldone 4 Matt Bevans 5 Kieran Murphy (Captain) 6 Danny Green 7 David Hutton (16 Jhai Dillon,66) 8 Adam Watkins 9 Shane Bush 10 Lewis Toomey (12 Jefferson Louis,75) 11 Oran Swales (17 Matthew Hall,90) Unused Substitutes: 14 Ravi Shamsi 15 Jon-Jo Bates Yellow Card: Green,71.

KETTERING TOWN: 1 Paul White 2 Kalern Thomas 3 Ben Toseland 4 Brett Solkhon (Captain) (18 Alex Metcalfe,84) 5 Gary Mulligan 6 Orrin Pendley 7 Lindon Meikle (10 Michael Richens,74) 8 Aaron O’Connor 11 Rhys Hoenes 15 Matthew Stevens (9 Rene Howe,60) 16 Tom Marshall Unused Substitutes: 12 Liam Bateman 14 Gary Stohrer Yellow Card: Stevens,39

THE GAME:

It was a bitterly cold day at The Meadow and the early morning frost had come out of the pitch. A very early mishit clearance by home keeper Hafed Al-Droubi was controlled by Matty Stevens and gave him a good shooting chance- but the effort was poor allowing the keeper to pick up. Al-Droubi was soon in action again as he raced off his line to hack clear with Rhys Hoenes running on to a through ball. The Generals did force a corner on the right after 10 minutes, with the Kettering defence clearing. Kettering nearly scored in the next minute as Stevens (above) met a free kick from Ben Toseland and his header smacked against the crossbar. Aaron O’Connor got a couple of crosses in from the left – both held by Al-Droubi and then O’Connor got to a Toseland cross, unchallenged, only to head over the bar. Kettering were continuing to look like scoring and Orrin Pendley got to a Toseland corner from the right to head firmly – but just over the bar. Chesham only really threatened at set pieces and a short corner on the right was hastily cleared by the Kettering defence. On 36 minutes Kettering had a great chance as Hoenes raced clear centrally. He failed to get a shot in though and a combination of goalkeeper and defender cleared the ball away. There was a late problem for Kettering as keeper Paul White lost the ball as he tried to shield the ball out of play. Lewis Toomey got a low cross along the six yard box – but no fellow attacker was anywhere near as Kettering cleared.

Half Time: CHESHAM UNITED 0 - 0 KETTERING TOWN

The half started quietly until the 53rd minute. Toseland whipped in a cross from the left and Al-Droubi got a touch on the ball which hit the bar and went for a corner. In the next minute Kalern Thomas crossed from the right into the path of O’Connor at the far post and his left foot shot was in the side netting. Chesham began to get more in the game led by Adam Watkins in midfield and were beginning to find space as Kettering visibly tired coming up to the hour mark. They got away on the left and only a last ditch block by Gary Mulligan saved the day. Rene Howe replaced the industrious Matty Stevens and he soon got on the end of a Toseland cross, heading on for Brett Solkhon – who could just not reach the ball. Kettering forced two more corners without threatening the goal and O’Connor’s 65th minute cross was well taken by Al-Droubi. Mulligan then got in a second crucial block as he denied Toomey who was looking to convert a through ball. Toomey, however, did score in the 68th minute. Oran Swales got past his man on the right and his firm cross was met by Toomey at the far post to make it 1-0. Kettering kept trying and Kalern Thomas had a shot well blocked before Pendley headed wide from a Toseland free kick. With the Poppies pushing forward they were punished again from a break in the 79th minute. Again a cross from the right found two attackers with only White to beat and Shane Bush got something on the ball as it looped gently over the keeper and under the bar from a few yards out to make it 2-0. Chesham comfortably saw the game out as Kettering wilted. The Poppies now entertain Dorchester Town next Saturday 3rd March (weather permitting) before going on the road again to Gosport Borough on Saturday 10th.

Full Time: CHESHAM UNITED 2 - 0 KETTERING TOWN

Attendance: 409 (Poppies fans estimated at 125)

Poppies man of the Match: Kalern Thomas