Kettering Town 0-0 Chester

A contentious afternoon at Latimer Park, that saw both sides reduced to 10 men, a blatant penalty waved away, but enough interest to keep the 1,014 on their toes in a see saw game. 

Kettering Town v Chester FC

Vanarama National League North

Saturday 25th September 2021   3:00pm


Kettering Town 

Chester FC


 Jackson Smith



 Louis Gray



 Connor Barrett



 Kelvin Roberts          



 Alex Brown



 Simon Grand               



 Luke Ward    



 Declan Weeks             

 Off 70


 Connor Johnson



 Dan Cowan



 Chris Smith



 George Glendon   (Capt)



 Callum Powell

 Off 65


 Anthony Dudley

 Off 78


 Claudio Ofosu

 Off 87


 Paddy Lacey               



 Kyle Perry



 Matty Williams          



 Gary Stohrer (Capt)

 Off 84


 Josh Askew



 Harrison Neal



 Jack Redshaw                   















 Jordon Crawford

 On 87


 Danny Livesey            



 Issac Stones

 On 65


 James Hardy           



 Decarrey Sherriff



 George Waring                 

 On 70


 Lamine Sherif

 On 84


 Luke Clarke         



 Rhys Sharpe



 Jude Oyibo

 On 78


Referee: Richard Holmes       Assistants: Sam Wesson and Harry Tarrant

After the success in the FA Cup on Tuesday night it was back to league action against Chester who were heavily beaten in mid-week by a lower league team in their FA Cup replay. Kettering made two changes from the team that started against Leamington. Rhys Davies who limped off was pronounced unfit so Jackson Smith was between the sticks and in midfield Gary Stohrer returned from injury to take over the number 10 shirt and the captaincy from Lamine Sherif who reverted to the bench. Also returning from injury and a place on the bench was Rhys Sharpe.

On a beautiful day more like late summer than early autumn and the pitch looking really good after the recent rain Kettering kicked off attacking the Tin Hat with Chester in dark blue and white broad striped shirts and black shorts.

Chester were first on the attack winning a corner in the third minute which came to nothing as Perry headed the ball clear. Five minutes later Kettering had a good chance to open the scoring. Kettering won a throw in on the stand side - Alex Brown threw the ball long into the box towards Perry but it was Luke Ward who flicked the ball on but only to Declan Weeks who pushed the ball out of the box. Claudio Ofosu, out wide on the open side, collected it and floated the ball into the middle where it evaded everyone - apart from Brown ghosting in unmarked at the back post.However,three yards out Alex didn't make a clean contact on the ball allowing Louis Gray to stop the ball very close to the goal-line.

With ten minutes of the game gone Chester won their second corner but once again Kyle Perry got his head to the ball first and cleared the danger. A few minutes later Kyle showed a different side to his game when he chased a wayward ball and kept it in by the corner flag on the open side. Kyle turned and sticking close to the touchline moved goalwards.Kevin Roberts tried his best using fair and foul means to force the Kettering man off the ball but merely ended up on his backside as Kyle played the ball low into the box but unfortunately no red shirt was there to capitalise on the big man's skill.

Just before the half hour mark Kettering broke forward through Powell running onto a through ball by Ofosu. Callum took the ball to the by-line before cutting the ball back into the middle but it was cut out by a Chester head for a Kettering corner. The kick was partially cleared,but only back to taker Brown who fed it to Powell but his cross was deflected into the arms of Gray. Two minutes later Chester were on the break and George Glendon attempted a curling shot from just outside the area. The attempt was on target, Chester's first of the day, but was a routine save for Jackson Smith.

After thirty-three minutes the deadlock came closest to being broken. Connor Barrett on the stand side lifted the ball into the Chester penalty towards Perry who nodded the ball on towards Brown who headed the onto the bar. It was immaterial however as the Assistant had raised his flag for offside.

With just under ten minutes left of the half Matty Williams picked up the first caution of the game as he took down Powell who was just about to get past him, if anything the card was for an accumulation of offences. As it was only mid-way in the Chester half there was little chance of it being considered the denial of a goal scoring opportunity. The free kick was lifted into the area by Neal for another Perry flick on. This time Chris Smith had the ball bounce off him more than a genuine goal attempt and it was easy for Gray to gather.  Two minutes later and Powell was brought down again this time by Josh Askew on the edge of the box. Luke Ward took the kick and lifted it past the wall but the shot was lacking in pace and was an easy catch for Gray.

As the game entered the final five minutes of the half in a rare Chester attack George Glendon showed good skill in controlling the ball and setting up a shooting chance for Kevin Roberts but it was a poor effort sailing well over the bar. In the final minute of normal time following a foul on Connor Johnson Alex Brown lifted the ball into the Chester penalty area. Kyle Perry was hauled to the floor with a combination of a hand to his throat and a fist full of shirt in the penalty area for a stonewall penalty. The referee saw nothing wrong much to Kyle's displeasure and he expressed it to Mr Holmes who took exception to his authority being questioned and cautioned the forward. Kettering kept up the pressure for remaining few additional minutes with Neal firing narrowly wide.

Half Time: Kettering Town 0  Chester FC 0

Chester had the first attack of the second half earning a corner when Kevin Roberts cross aimed towards the near post where Jack Redshaw was lurking was cut out by Chris Smith for a corner. Declan Weeks' kick was met by Redshaw but his header was over. A minute later a coming together of Perry and Grand left the Chester man on the floor. The referee showed no hesitation in taking the opportunity in showing Perry a second yellow reducing Kettering to ten men.

As the game reached the hour mark Ofosu broke well from his own half advancing deep into Chester's half before passing to Powell who had raced forward in support. Callum's shot was deflected wide by Cowan for an unproductive corner. Two minutes later Claudio was prevented from making another penetrating break by being tripped by Weeks,which earned the Chester player a booking,

After sixty-five minutes Kettering made their first substitution with Issac Stones replacing Powell.  Powell had been tightly controlled for much of the game with sometimes three defenders on him and a number of fouls committed on him. As if to illustrate this within a minute of the restart Roberts was booked this time for a foul on Brown as Kettering were on the attack again.

At this stage it was difficult to tell which side was a man short as the majority of positive play was being produced by Kettering with Chester not taking advantage of their numerical superiority.

Chester made their first substitution after seventy minutes with midfielder Weeks being withdrawn in favour of top goal scorer George Waring. Two minutes after the referee telling a Chester player not to hold and the Chester player completely ignoring the request and holding the Kettering man the ball broke for Chester and Alex Brown conceded a free kick on the stand side. The free-kick was lifted into the penalty area and after a brief melee a goal bound shot was blocked behind by Connor Johnson for an unproductive corner.

As the game entered the final fifteen minutes Chester had cause to thank Dan Cowan for a brilliant saving tackle as Ofosu looked to be in on goal. The corner was partially punched clear Gray and went out of play on the far side. The resulting throw-in was taken long by Brown and ended up with Neal whose long-range shot was blocked and went behind for a corner.

Chester made their second substitution on seventy-eight minutes with Jude Oyibo replacing Dudley. Almost straight after the referee awarded a soft free kick against Chris Smith. Josh Askew lifted the ball into the box but Waring's header was well over.

With six minutes to go Kettering had to make their second substitution when Gary Stohrer was suffering badly with cramp and was replaced by Lamine Sherif. Two minutes later the sides were made even as Kevin Roberts collected his second yellow card as running side by side with Brown towards the ball an errant arm caught the shorter player in the face.

There were three minutes of normal time plus any additional time to go when Kettering made their final substitution with Jordon Crawford replacing the industrious and frequently fouled Ofosu. As it happened there was to be six minutes of additional time in which there would be drama at both ends of the ground as Chester showed more attacking intent than they had all second half. Firstly, Kettering stirred it up in the Chester penalty area as Crawford buzzed around. As Kettering were still pressing, they won a throw-in close to the corner flag on the stand side. Brown's long throw into the box was hoofed clear by Glendon but the long ball down the middle of the pitch caused Jackson Smith problems. The keeper came out for the ball but it wasn't going to carry into the penalty area so Jackson had to head the ball but it went sideways and not forward.  Oyibo scampered to retrieve it covered by Barrett but the Chester man managed to get a shot in but Smith saved well with his feet on the goal-line with Redshaw heading the ball wide for a goal kick. Jackson took his time over the kick and was warned by the referee to hurry it up and then promptly blew the final whistle after the kick.

Full Time: Kettering Town 0  Chester FC 0

A solid defensive display by Kettering playing a man down for over thirty minutes. Chester showed little attacking fight and Jackson Smith's biggest challenge was maintaining his concentration levels. When Chester managed to threaten the Kettering goal, usually through the efforts of Redshaw, Kettering defended as a unit and closed down and crowded out preventing any meaningful goal attempt. Not that Kettering sat back and defended throughout both halves they looked to be the more positive of the two teams.  A single point earned but with a more equitable referee particularly in regards to the treatment of Perry a different result could have been achieved.

Kettering Town yellow cards:   Perry – dissent  2nd yellow Perry – Foul

Chester FC yellow cards:  Williams, Weeks, Roberts– fouls           2nd yellow  Roberts - Foul

Attendance: 1014

Sponsor's Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – Harrison Neal – chosen by Essity.

Reporter's Man of the Match – Alex Brown – Was involved all over the pitch for Kettering and came closest to scoring and error free in defence, surprisingly winning balls in the air against taller opponents. Has been solid since being pitched into the starting line-up against Spalding on the day of his signing. Both Rhys Sharpe and Riccardo Calder have a job on their hands to reclaim the left back spot.

Klondike ticket winning no -13790 claimed by our Paralympian, Dermot Bailey, who wins £190.