Corby Town 1 - 1 Kettering Town (Kettering win 7-6 on penalties

The Poppies won the Northants F A Hillier Senior Cup tonight after a penalty shoot out- but were made to battle all the way by a spirited Corby Town. The Steelmen took the lead in the 65th minute through a goal from ex Poppy, Jason Lee. It wasn’t until the 83rd minute before Kettering levelled through Aaron O’Connor. Penalties followed after 90 minutes which went 7-6 in the Poppies favour.

There were no changes to the squad and team from last Saturday.

A good surface at Sixfields tonight greeted the two finalists. The first half saw the Poppies kicking towards the empty south stand. There were three ex Poppies in the Corby team as expected.

The first real action in either penalty area saw Kettering’s Nathan Hicks go over after a challenge by Corby keeper Aidan Grant. It was never a penalty but a corner was awarded and James Brighton’s corner was headed wide by James Haran.

The first shot on target was from Corby as Jordan Crawford’s low shot was held by Paul White. Then ex Poppy Spencer Weir-Daley saw a shot deflected wide for what was to be an unproductive corner.

Kettering came back and Hicks’ volley came off a defender and scuttled just wide of the post. This time Brighton’s corner was headed just wide by Dom Langdon.

On 17 minutes Haran streaked down the right and his cross saw Rene Howe cushion a header for Brighton to shoot – but good defending blocked the ball.

Corby looked cohesive and sharp though- belying their league position- and a fine 24th minute move saw Connor Kennedy have a great chance- but the shot was over the bar from 18 yards.

Corby had the better of the play now- albeit they could make little headway into the Kettering goal and it wasn’t until the 37th minute that they threatened. A trade mark Weir-Daley turn and shot saw the ball go wide of goal.

Corby had shaded the half overall – but their inability to get near goal was further evidenced by a final break which saw a chance lost as Liam Bateman defended admirably.

Half Time:

Corby Town 0 - 0 Kettering Town

James Hall replaced Jack Kelly as Kettering changed formation at the start of the half.

Corby came yet again as a nice break saw Crawford’s cross partly cleared and Kennedy fired over.

Kettering’s best effort to date on 52 minutes saw Liam Canavan given a lot of space and his thunderbolt was just over the bar with Grant beaten. Then James Hall created a chance on the right but Haran blazed the shot over.

Crawford got in another good effort five minutes later- but the was shot wide and a few minutes later only a great saving tackle by Langdon on Weir-Daley prevented the striker testing White.

From the corner Corby scored. The ball was cleared and ex Poppy,Jason Lee, hit a superb strike from 23 yards inside the left upright. Kettering were stunned and in the next minute young striker, Giuseppe Iaciafano, had a great chance, but fired wide.

It really was now all Corby and Crawford’s 67th minute shot cannoned off Brighton and skidded just wide.

The Steelmen were almost penalised for their errant shooting though, as the Poppies hit the bar a minute later. Rene Howe forced his way through and looked certain to score. Whether it was a mishot shot or a defender’s boot it matters not as the ball came off the bar and onto the line and was hacked clear. It was a let off for Corby.

Aaron O’Connor’s 72nd minute shot went wide for a goal kick with a claimed deflection and then only a last ditch Courtney Wildin interception cut out a cross from Hall that looked right on O’Connor’s path to goal.

As the game entered the last 10 minutes Corby had worked hard for their lead and Kettering had really not shown their true form- but nevertheless they equalised in the 83rd minute.

Substitute, Lewis Hornby got in a cross from the right. Howe controlled and as his attempted shot drifted across the six yard box O’Connor got the vital finish. After some discussion by the officials about a claimed offside by Corby- the goal stood.

Corby rallied a little and Weir-Daley’s shot was deflected onto the roof of the net.
On 88 minutes Kettering then had a good chance as Grant made the save of the night to get his hand on O’Connor’s 12 yard left foot rocket and from the corner a diving Haran had a clear header- but it was wide.

Corby had the final chance as a melee in the Kettering goalmouth saw Brighton and Gary Mulligan block shots and Kennedy then lifting a shot over the top.

Full Time:

Corby Town 1 - 1 Kettering Town


Corby won the toss for the end to take the penalties and of course chose the empty South stand end.

Corby took the first penalty:

Milnes scored 1-0
O’Connor Scored 1-1
Crawford scored 2-1
Howe shot saved 2-1
Draper shot saved 2-1
Hornby Scores 2-2
Bell scores 3-2
John scores 3-3
Weir-Daley scores 4-3
Hall scores 4-4
Trainer scores 5-4
Bateman scores 5-5
Wildin scores 6-5
Haran scores 6-6
Lee misses 6-6
Brighton scores 6-7

Kettering had to beat 4 of the 5 top ranked teams to win this cup (Kettering being the 5th) and therefore earned this win. Corby played well on the night and our best wishes in their final three games to avoid relegation.

The Poppies now visit Stratford on Saturday before entertaining Cambridge city on Easter Monday at 3pm.

Attendance: 830 (Poppies fans 410 )

Poppies Man of the Match: The whole team.

Team Line-ups:

Corby Town:
1 Aidan Grant
2 Miles Smith (14 Danny Draper,83)
3 Courtney Wildin
4 Jamie Anton
5 Jason Lee (Captain)
6 Connor Kennedy
7 Jordan Crawford
8 Ben Milnes
9 Spencer Weir-Daley
10 Giuseppe Iaciafano (16 Phil Trainer,80)
11 Stephen Leslie (12 Ryan Bell,65)

Unused Subs:
15 Bradley Marshall
18 Monty Parkes

Yellow Cards:Smith,68.

Kettering Town:
1 Paul White
2 Liam Bateman
3 Jack Kelly (14 James Hall,46)
4 James Haran
5 Dom Langdon
6 Gary Mulligan (Captain)
7 Nathan Hicks (16 Jorrin John,67)
8 Aaron O’Connor
9 Rene Howe
10 Liam Canavan (15 Lewis Hornby,60)
11 James Brighton

Unused Subs:
12 Ben Baker
17 Jack O’Connor

Yellow Cards: Aaron O’Connor,72