KETTERING TOWN 1 - 3 HEREFORD FC

TODAY’S MATCH SPONSOR: THE KNOTTLEY CREW IN BRIEF: Two defensive errors cost Kettering dearly as Hereford went in 2-0 up at half time through clinical strikes from Eliot Richards and John Mills. Aaron O’Connor pulled a goal back 10 minutes from full time, but after Kettering were reduced to 10 men on 84 minutes, with Brett Solkhon dismissed, Mike Symons made the game safe in the 89th minute. Hereford were the more organised team on the night and justified their ‘league favourites’ title THE KETTERING SQUAD: With Tom Marshall unavailable and Liam Bateman delayed in traffic, Brett Solkhon and Kalern Thomas came in. Lindon Meikle came onto the bench after injury. THE TEAMS: Kettering Town: 1 Paul White 2 Kalern Thomas (12 Ibby Akanbi,77) 3 Ben Toseland 4 Brett Solkhon (Captain) 5 Gary Mulligan 6 Michael Richens 7 Gary Stohrer (16 Lindon Meikle,46) 8 Aaron O’Connor 9 Rene Howe 10 Ben Milnes 11 Rhys Hoenes (15 Matthew Stevens,70) Unused Substitutes: 14 Liam Bateman 17 Callum Snow Yellow cards: Howe,42;Toseland,74;O’Connor;White,84. Red Card: Solkhon,84 HEREFORD: 1 Martin Horsell 2 Dara O’Shea 3 Cameron Pring 4 Billy Murphy 5 Ryan Green 6 Jack Deaman (14 Pablo Haysham) 7 Eliot Richards (16 Dan Preston,90) 8 Calvin Dinsley (15 Lance Smith,87) 9 John Mills 10 Keyon Reffell 11 Mike Symons Unused Substitutes: 12 Gary Preen 20 Alex Harris Yellow Card: Pring,77. HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED: With Kettering kicking towards the Station Road end, Hereford started on the front foot with Keyon Reffell looking sharp on the right. In fact he helped to set up the first goal in just the 7th minute. Ben Toseland was caught out in possession and Reffell fed Mike Symons who set up Eliot Richards for a sweetly struck low volley past Paul White. The Poppies forced a corner a couple of minutes later which was cleared and they had the ball in the net on 11 minutes. Ben Milnes got space on the left and crossed for the on-rushing Aaron O’Connor who stabbed the ball past Martin Horsell. The Assistant’s flag denied the ‘goal’ albeit that later replays suggested that O’Connor looked onside. Kalern Thomas, making his first full start, looked up to the task and won another corner in the 13th minute and, from the restart, Rene Howe’s effort was scrambled off the line. From the resulting corner a Kettering goal bound sho was deflected wide by a Kettering body. Hereford had an 18th minute free kick which was overhit; Kettering forced another fruitless corner and White saved from Billy Murphy. White then had a scare as he came for an easy take from a free kick and the ball slipped out of his grasp for a Hereford corner and from this the header went wide. Hereford went two up on 36 minutes. Gary Mulligan misjudged a high ball and ace marksman, John Mills, pounced to control a delightful lob over White from just a few yards out. Kettering tried to reply but the shot from a corner was skewed wide. Half Time: Kettering Town 0 - 2 Hereford Lindon Meikle replaced Stohrer at the start of the half as Kettering had to chase the game. Eight minutes into the half Kettering nearly scored. Mulligan met a set piece with a firm header which was going in the top corner. The tall Dara O’Shea managed to get to the ball and head over the bar for a great clearance. From the corner Howe’s shot was cleared off the line and a frantic scramble ensued with chances to put the ball in- but Hereford cleared. Meikle looked lively on the right and Kettering had to attack. But Hereford largely looked comfortable defending. Kettering had a good chance on 57 minutes as Howe crossed for Ben Milnes and with good sight of goal he dragged his shot wide under pressure from a defender. Michael Richens had right foot and then, left foot shots in quick succession- but both cleared the bar. For Hereford, Mills dragged his shot wide and Billy Murphy also fired wide. With just under 20 minutes to go Kettering’s O’Connor forced a save from Horsell as the keeper palmed the shot just wide. O’Connor soon bettered this effort as he fired home on 81 minutes low to the keeper’s left to give Kettering hope. Unfortunately for Kettering and skipper Brett Solkhon, he was sent off for bringing down the last man on 84 minutes and with that went Kettering’s hopes. White saved the resultant free kick. On 87 minutes, O’Connor tried a bicycle kick which flashed wide of goal. Hereford’s third goal on 89 minutes saw the ball crossed low from the left with White saving Symons’ first shot but unable to stop the shot from the rebound. The Poppies protested that the ball had gone out prior to the cross and White was cautioned. A big thank you to our visitors last night,who all conducted themselves in a great way, to our fans for observing the segregation, and to Alumasc, for allowing us to use part of their car park for this game. Full Time: Kettering Town 1 - 3 Hereford Attendance: 909 (away fans 263) Klondike: Chris Simpson wins £170 with ticket number 21051 Elgoods Brewery Poppies Man of the Match selected by Sponsors, The Knottley Crew: Michael Richens