First half goals from Rhys Hoenes (above), Gary Stohrer and Brett Solkhon saw the Poppies extend their lead to 11 points at the top of the table in difficult conditions at Latimer Park. The visitors were reduced to ten men when former Poppy Edmund Hotter was sent off on 19 minutes, but it was the perfect response to Tuesday night's disappointing defeat.

Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central

Saturday 9thMarch 2019   3:00pm



Kettering Town



Banbury United



 Paul White



 Jack Harding



 Dion Kelly-Evans



 Matthew Taylor



 Declan Towers



 George Nash

 Off 72


 Craig Stanley



 Charlie Wise (Capt)



 Marcus Kelly

 Off 85


 Ravi Shamsi  

 Off 53


 Michael Richens  (Capt)        



 Edmund Hotter



 Brett Solkhon          



 Giuseppe Iaciofano  



 Lindon Meikle

 Off 85 


 Amer Awadh    



 Gary Stohrer

 Off 77


 Lee Henderson     



 Dan Holman



 Eddie Odhiambo



 Rhys Hoenes



 Giorgio Rasulo















 James Brighton   

 On 85


 Prudence Anaele



 Ben Toseland         

 On 77


 Jamie Heapy           



 Ben Milnes            



 Greg Kaziboni  

 On 53


 Ben Bradshaw                

 On 85


 Ryan McDonald     



 Lathaniel Rowe-Turner  



 Jack Finch

 On 72


Referee: Scott Tallis                     Assistants: Mariusz Tomon and Scott Postin

With Aaron O'Connor commencing his three match ban for his dismissal at Lowestoft and Adam Cunnington continuing to be unavailable, Brett Solkhon got an uncommon starting role. There was a much welcomed, no doubt even more so by the player himself, of James Brighton to the bench after an eighteen month injury. Along with LRT three Bens, Bradshaw, Milnes and Toseland giving the a youthful look to the substitutes.

Under an overcast sky but with no rain Kettering kicked off attacking the Tin Hat with the visitors in bright daffodil yellow strip. Hopefully the strong gusty wind would not spoil the afternoon. Inside the first two minutes Hoenes made a penetrating run down the left wing and cut inside into the box. He went past two defenders but let the ball get slightly away from him. Charlie Wise the towering Banbury centre-back made a massive clearance for the first ball onto the practice pitch. On ten minutes Amer Awadh did almost the same for Banbury as he sliced through Kettering's right side defence. Instead of taking a shot he decided to play the ball into the congested middle where it was cleared by a defender. Two minutes later he repeated the feat this time he picked out Giorgio Rasulo,but his shot lacked power and was put behind by Declan Towers for a unproductive corner. 

The game was very even with both teams probing and looking for an opening when, on seventeen minutes,the complexion of the game changed. A ball was played to Craig Stanley deep in Kettering's half virtually on the touch-line. Former Kettering player Edmund Hotter lunged in and caught Craig late and his momentum and Stanley jumping to avoid contact caused the Kettering player to fly into the air. The linesman who was less than 5 yards away flagged immediately. Craig got to his feet straight away but if he hadn't jumped before contact was made then a serious injury could have ensued. The Kettering players were angry with the challenge and the Banbury players also congregated around the referee. Least helpful was Wise the Banbury captain who was pushing Kettering players in order to stop them talking to the ref, definitely not helpful. When normal order was restored Hotter was given his marching orders but when he and the Banbury contingent see the video of the incident they can have very little complaint.

Three minutes later Banbury's afternoon got worse. A long clearance down the right hand side bounced high just outside the Banbury area with Wise the closest defender. Hoenes in close pursuit realising he had no chance of challenging conceding at least a foot in height difference gambled and continued his forward  run. He won his bet as the header was poorly executed and was short of the keeper. Rhys gleefully took possession, took it around the keeper, who did everything possible within the law to stop him but not enough, screwed it in from an acute angle. 1-0 Kettering 20 mins.

Banbury tried to respond and two minutes later earned their first corner but it was a poor effort and failed to beat the first man. Three minutes after that Kettering had doubled their lead . A long ball was played forward to Dan Holman on the very left hand side of Banbury's penalty area. He shimmied past Wise leaving him for dead and lofted a ball aimed at Brett Solkhon at the back post. A Banbury player cut it out though but his header looped up straight to Gary Stohrer on the edge of the area. Watching the ball fall all the way he hit a beautiful first time volley straight into the corner giving Jack Harding no chance. 2-0 Kettering 25 mins.

Just after the half hour Banbury thought they had pulled one back. Good approach work down their right wing saw Ravi Shamsi open in the box his goal-bound shot beat Paul White but with the ball less than a yard from the goal Cobblers loanee Giuseppe Iaciofano felt the need to give the ball a final touch and was promptly and rightly flagged as being offside. The referee consulted with his assistant and awarded a free-kick to Kettering much to the annoyance of the visitors. To add insult to injury Kettering sent the ball  straight up the other end and scored. A ball was played in from the left again aimed at Solkhon at the back post he had a defender either side of him but they contrived to mess the clearance up and present an easy opportunity for Brett to add to his Kettering goal tally. 3-0 Kettering 34 mins.

Five minutes before half-time Stanley picked up a caution for a foul on Awadh. The free-kick was played into the box and Paul White met it with a firm punch to clear the ball away. Right at the end of the half Stohrer appeared to be fouled on the edge of the box but the ball ran clear to Hoenes who was summarily sent to the floor but the referee just waved play on. Two minutes of added time brought no further action. 

Half Time: Kettering Town 3  Banbury United 0

If Banbury's manager had laid on 5 loaves and two fishes for his half time talk one might have given his side some hope for the second half. Kettering were quickly out of the blocks and inside the first minute Hoenes broke down the left wing. He squared the ball inside to Holman but his shot was deflected behind for an unproductive corner. Five minutes later another probe down Banbury's right saw the ball played across to the far post to Hoenes. By the time he got the ball under his control he was closed down and any shooting opportunity had gone he slipped the ball inside to Stohrer who was similarly  quickly closed down and was also unable to get a shot off. The ball was played back to Lindon Meikle but his attempt was easy for the keeper.

Banbury made their first change after fifty-three minutes with the impressive Shamsi being replaced by the injury troubled Kaziboni. A minute later Wise almost set Solkhon up for a second goal. A ball played into the box was attempted to be headed clear by the Banbury skipper he merely managed to head the ball up into the air which then fell nicely for Brett but his shot didn't trouble the keeper as it passed over the bar. Three minutes later good work by Dion Kelly-Evans down the right saw Kettering exploiting the extra man when played a tantalising cross which passed across the box along the six yard with no-one able to take advantage of it. The game settled into tedium for the next dozen minutes. Banbury had the majority of possession but having  a player short could not pierce Kettering's defence. Craig Stanley showed  commitment to get in a good block when Banbury did manage to get in a shot. Paul White was having a quiet afternoon. Kettering had an occasional foray forward but both sides appeared to be going through the motions. With twenty minutes to go Stohrer advanced down Kettering's left. He fed the ball forward to an overlapping Kelly who crossed to Holman whose shot cleared the bar. The game petered out with a series of substitutions. The most significant of which was five minutes before the end and the return to competitive football by James Brighton after a seventeen month injury absence. In the very last of the three additional minutes Banbury came close to getting a consolation goal when Giorgio Rasulo shot from outside the box. His low effort managed to beat White but squarely hit the post, rebounded into play and was cleared away. Shortly after Mr Tallis bought to a conclusion a game which effectively ended many minutes before. 

Full Time: Kettering Town 3  Banbury United 0.

Kettering Town -  yellow cards: Stanley – Foul. 

Banbury - yellow cards:  None - foul. 

                   red card:Hotter – violent play

Attendance: 663

Elgoods Brewery Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match chosen by Alumasc Waste Management

Systems– Gary Stohrer.

Klondike winning ticket no – 6732 - £225 won by Roger Haynes, and many thanks for the donation to the club from those winnings.