Kettering eased through in this tie with a much changed team. 2-1 ahead at the break with goals from Gary Stohrer and Liam Bateman, it was soon 3-1 in the second period with Rhys Hoenes’ strike. Kettering’s keeper crisis struck again with debutant Justin Greatorex injured – Michael Richens donning the keeper’s shirt and Bedford pulled a goal back with minutes to go- but Samson Maagbe struck in the 94th minute to seal the win.


Only four starters from last Saturday’s team lined up. In came keeper, Justin Greatorex,Samson Maagbe,Liam Bateman,Gary Stohrer,Matty Stevens,Munashe Sundire and Ben Baker.

The Teams lined up:

1 Josh Bonaiti
2 Paul Cooper
3 Matt Clifford
4 Dean Dummett
5 James Peters (Captain)
6 Ashton Grant
7 David Manu
8 Ryan Auger
9 Andrew Phillips
10 George Brinkman (14 Leroy Griffiths,56)
11 Ben Sawyer (12 Joel Norris,59)
Unused Substitutes:
15 Jemale McKenzie-Lowe
16 Kyle Forster

Yellow Cards: None

1 Justin Greatorex (12 Durrell Berry,69)
2 Samson Maagbe
3 Ben Toseland
4 Liam Bateman
5 Michael Richens
6 Gary Stohrer
7 Rhys Hoenes (15 Lindon Meikle,56)
8 Matthew Stevens
9 Rene Howe (Captain) (14 James Brighton,46)
10 Munashe Sundire
11 Ben Baker

Unused Substitutes:
16 Gary Mulligan
17 Aaron O’Connor
Yellow Cards: None


Debut keeper, Justin Greatorex was called on within 3 minutes to save a Ben Sawyer shot and Kettering responded with Matt Stevens’ header wide from a Ben Baker cross.

A poor Bedford back pass put ex Kettering under 21 keeper,Josh Bonaiti in trouble as he miskicked- but his defence cleared the danger with Rhys Hoenes hovering.

Kettering took the lead on 11 minutes. The ball was worked in from the right and Gary Stohrer finished coolly past Bonaiti.

Ex Cambridge and Histon player, Ryan Auger, fired well over for Bedford and the game regressed to a 10 minute midfield slog which lacked any quality.

Munashe Sundire got a shot in on 27 minutes which was saved before the Eagles equalised in the next minute with a top quality strike.

David Manu on the right, making his debut, came inside and lashed a 25 yard left foot drive in at the left upright, giving Greatorex no chance. It was a great strike.

Kettering went ahead again in the 38th minute. Stohrer had fired wide in a spell of Kettering pressure which forced a corner on the right. The cross was not cleared and Liam Bateman was there to poke the ball in.

Ben Baker’s shot came off the keeper for a 40th minute corner which then saw Rene Howe head wide from the restart. Howe then left the field with what looked like a hamstring problem.

Half Time:


James Brighton replaced Howe as the team reorganised and Stevens saw an early shot blocked out.

Kettering went further ahead on 51 minutes as Hoenes drifted across goal from the left and struck a firm shot past Bonaiti.

Just after the hour mark there was a long stoppage as Greatorex went down after a heavy challenge. It was an impact injury to the hip and he was unable to continue. With no goalkeeper on the bench and no Brett Solkhon due to injury, Michael Richens took the gloves and the team was reorganised again. Strangely no substitute came on for another 8 minutes. Finally Durrell Berry appeared to restore Kettering to eleven men, by which time Richens had taken three crosses with ease.

Richens then held a more difficult cross under challenge of a Bedford player.

Eventually the Poppies re-shaped team managed to get forward and Stevens lobbed a shot over. Baker then crossed and Stevens had a great chance to score – but Bonaiti made the save.

For Bedford, Manu shot over and then Richens made a full length save, diving to his left.

The game was very open now and Bedford were sensing a chance to get goals with substitute, Leroy Griffiths firing wide and Richens made another save- this time with ease. Richens then made a save from Joel Norris – but was unable to save Dean Dummett’s header from the ensuing corner.

Bedford pushed for an equaliser, and Auger shot wide before Samson Maagbe made it 4-2 to Kettering with a good 94th minute strike.

The Poppies now entertain 5th placed Merthyr Town at Latimer Park on Saturday, hoping that injured players can recover in time.

Full Time:


Attendance: 152 (Poppies fans estimated at 25 )

Poppies Man of the Match: Gary Stohrer