Chippenham - match report

IN A NUTSHELL:

The Poppies recorded what was probably their best result of the season to date as they beat second placed Chippenham Town today 2-0 at Hardenhuish Park.
With Kettering taking a 4th minute lead through debutant Spencer Weir-Daley, Chippenham’s Matt Smith was red carded for a kick at Chris Carruthers in the 33rd minute. Despite this, the 10 men controlled the second half and did everything to score-only for Wilson Carvalho to wrap up the points in the 90th minute.

THE KETTERING SQUAD:

Spencer Weir-Daley started with Dom Langdon reverting to the substitutes bench, and Gary Mulligan dropped back into central defence in a changed team formation.

HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED:

It was a cold Hardenhuish Park today with light drizzle and gradually during the game more heavy rain- but the pitch was good, with the Poppies playing down the slope in the first half.
The Bluebirds first attack saw a chance fall to James Guthrie, but he ballooned his shot high over the bar.
The Poppies shocked their hosts in the 4th minute with an opening goal. Rene Howe won the ball on the left. His crossfield ball was dummied by Liam Canavan to Wilson Carvalho.Carvalho fed Spencer Weir-Daley, who needed little time and space to lift the ball high past keeper, Kent Kauppinen into the top right hand corner. It was a stunning goal.
Kettering went close again two minutes later, as Howe got into the box and his low shot was wide of the right post.
It was clear early on that big Alan Griffin was going to cause problems for the Kettering central defenders, thus giving leading scorer Andy Sandell, some space to play.
It was however Griffin who was providing the bigger goal threat, as he had a shot deflected wide and then fired over the bar.
Kettering were playing some neat passing football themselves and a great move on 14 minutes saw James Brighton’s cross from the left headed firmly by Canavan – but just past the post with Kauppinen rooted to the spot.
Kettering keeper, Craig Hill took two difficult crosses very well, holding the greasy ball on both occasions. He then made a regulation save from Alex Ferguson as the wide man turned and shot.
That man Griffin then got the better of Brett Solkhon, only to put a good chance over the bar.
Canavan’s 35 yard free kick was just over the bar and at the other end, experienced central defender, Mark Preece, fired just wide as a loose ball fell his way after a corner.
The Bluebirds suffered a blow on 33 minutes. As Chris Carruthers ushered a ball out for a goal kick, inexplicably Matt Smith kicked out at him off the pitch. After consulting his Assistant, the Referee showed a red card.
On 37 minutes, Sandell got in his first effort of the game as his right foot shot was wide.
Kauppinen was then sharply off his line to boot the ball away from the oncoming Weir-Daley.
The home side were always exploiting their height at set pieces and with long throws into the six yard box. A long throw on 41 minutes was headed on by Griffin and Hill was well placed to take the second header from Greg Tindle.

Half Time:

Chippenham Town 0 - 1 Kettering Town

After the break, Chippenham’s ten men looked keen to take the game to their visitors, and full back Luke Ballinger was taking an advanced position on the right.
The Bluebirds were not shy of pushing up all the big men for set pieces and they began to put Kettering under real pressure.
Initially, Kettering showed up well and Liam Bateman, on a break forward, got up the left side- and his cross was glanced wide by Howe.
Hill then did well again getting down to a clever flick by Ferguson, and Chippenham then won a couple of corners- which were both dealt with.
The Poppies forced a corner of their own on 57 minutes which Kauppinen collected.
Chippenham had a lot of possession despite their inferior number, and began to force more set pieces- corners and throws into a congested six yard box.
Sandell came closest to scoring on 61 minutes as he turned well and the left foot shot was just over the bar.
The Bluebirds then had a spell of 10 minutes with almost total possession as Kettering struggled to contain them, but did well to restrict goal chances.
On 72 minutes yet another long throw was cleared and this time Griffin put a right foot shot over the bar.
In the next minute Hill pulled off a great save to his left as he somehow got to Griffin’s header. He then saved Ballinger’s low shot.
Both teams introduced substitutes with Elliot Sandy, Will Grocott and Dom Langdon on for Kettering replacing Weir-Daley, Canavan and Bateman. On for Chippenham came the even taller Ollie Taylor for Griffin and Jay Malpas for Ballinger.
Greg Tindle’s firm back header on 83 minutes saw Kauppinen scrambling back to prevent an own goal.
Sandell thought he had scored for the hosts on 85 minutes as he met a low cross from the left with a firm shot into goal. However the Assistant’s flag was up for offside.
Will Grocott’s 89th minute shot was deflected wide, and as Chippenham continued to look for the equaliser, the Poppies broke to score a second goal.
Grocott, on the left, crossed for Sandy at the far post. His header back across goal came off the left post and Wilson Carvalho gleefully rammed home a left foot shot just inside the right post.
The final action saw Brighton’s added time free kick brilliantly pawed away by Kappinen.

The Poppies now look finally to play three home games in 8 days as follows:
Frome on Tuesday 16th at 7.45pm
Dunstable on Saturday 20th at 3pm
Dorchester on Tuesday 23rd at 7.45pm

Please come and support the team.

Full Time :

Chippenham Town 0 - 2 Kettering Town

Attendance: 527 (Away fans estimated at 125)

Poppies man of the match: Craig Hill