Match Report - Banbury United
Kettering Town FC: 1
Ben Baker 12
Banbury United: 0
Kettering Town FC: 2
Aaron O Connor 81
Gary Mulligan > Jack Kelly56
James Hall > Jorrin John67
Dominic Langdon > James Haran76
Banbury United: 1
Manny Duku 70
Sam Humphreys > Tom Winters65
Manny Duku > Ricky Johnson77
Darius Browne > Conor McDonagh77
IN A NUTSHELL: A lovely afternoon in Banbury saw both teams,to their credit, looking to play football and, in the end, Kettering took the points. Ben Baker had given the visitors the lead in the first half and Banbury equalised with a penalty on 71 minutes. Leading scorer, Aaron O’Connor scored the winner 8 minutes from time.
THE KETTERING SQUAD: Gary Mulligan and James Hall returned to the starting line up with Lewis Hornby and Jack O’Connor not in the squad. Under 18 County player, Callum Willimont was on a four man bench.
HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED: Kettering could have taken the lead within 60 seconds. Their first attack saw Ben Baker’s shot blocked with Rene Howe controlling the rebound well- but firing marginally wide with keeper Jack Harding unsighted. The Putitans first effort saw a good run by Zac McEachran and his shot was wide of the left upright. The Poppies took the lead on 12 minutes. A corner from the left was partially cleared and Ben Baker showed good technique to plant the ball past Harding and high into the net. Banbury had an early chance to equalise as Liam Bateman slipped up allowing Manny Duku a chance with Paul White off his line. The tall striker hesitated and the chance was gone as the defence cleared. Darius Browne’s 15th minute free kick came off the defensive wall and from the resulting corner Duku missed the ball at the far post. Then Sam Humphreys came across from the right, only to poke his left foot shot well wide. It was a decent game of football for the sun drenched crowd as Kettering got in a couple of threatening crosses- both coming to nothing. They did have another good chance though as Nathan Hicks’ ball through caught a defender’s boot and, as the ball looped up, Aaron O’Connor’s volley was high and wide. On the half hour, White was called on to save as a short corner saw him get fully behind the low shot. O’Connor saw a shot well blocked for Kettering and from the corner Baker could not repeat his goal shot as he volleyed the clearance well wide. The Poppies had a great chance in the 37th minute as James Hall’s cross from the left was great for O’Connor- but he did not make proper contact with the header which glanced wide. There was controversy in the next minute as Banbury made a back pass to keeper, Harding. He failed to control the ball under his boot and as the loose ball rolled for Rene Howe to place into the empty net- the keeper fell on the ball, grasping with both hands. The Referee ignored prolonged appeals for a free kick as the keeper punted the ball up-field. The Poppies were on the offensive though and Harding had to get down to hold Baker’s low shot under pressure from Hicks. Further controversy followed as Rene Howe put the ball in the net after a Harding caught, and then dropped the ball as he hit the ground. Howe was penalised for a foul when he had jumped for the ball with the keeper.
Half Time: Banbury United 0 - 1 Kettering Town
Banbury came out in more determined mood, although they had to clear a Kettering free kick in the first minute of the half. Humphreys had a decent shooting chance, which he put wide and Duku did well on the left but pulled his cross too far back and James Brighton cleared. Kettering gained a couple of corners in quick succession with no outcome before Howe saw an accurate shot well blocked. It was then the Poppies turn to block a shot as Dom Langdon got in the way of Humphreys’ pile-driver. Banbury had a spell and substitute Tom Winters’ first touch saw his direct free kick go just over the bar. Kettering countered and O’Connor headed wide at the far post as Baker crossed from the right. Banbury equalised in the 71st minute. Winters strong run into the box saw him go down and Duku somehow missed an easy chance to score as he ballooned the loose ball out of the ground from 12 yards. However the Referee awarded a penalty and Duku had an equally good chance to score from the spot and his time scored easily. Both teams were still in the game at this stage as defences began to win out. Kettering’s winner on 82 minutes came from a mistake. A poor pass across the penalty area saw O’Connor beat Harding to the ball and round the keeper to roll the ball into the net. The Poppies finished in fine fashion, forcing a few corners and Howe had the ball in the net on 87 minutes as he headed in a head on from Brett Solkhon- only to be given offside. Howe fired high and wide and James Brighton’s injury time header was saved by Harding.
As the game finished the players shook hands with the supporters who travelled in acknowledgement of a season’s support.
Full Time: Banbury United 1 - 2 Kettering Town
Attendance: 477 (Poppies fans estimated at 120)
Poppies Man of the Match: Rene Howe
Banbury United: 1 Jack Harding 2 Jacob Blackstock 3 Tom Bradbury 4 George Nash 5 Jack Westbrook 6 Luke Carnell ( Captain) 7 Sam Humphreys (15 Tom Winters,64) 8 Jack Self 9 Manny Duku (12 Ricky Johnson,77) 10 Zac McEachran 11 Darius Browne (14 Conor McDonagh,77)
Unused Subs: 16 Marvin Martin 17 Eddie Odhiambo
Yellow Cards: None
Kettering Town: 1 Paul White 2 Liam Bateman 3 James Brighton 4 Brett Solkhon (Captain) 5 Dom Langdon (15 James Haran,77) 6 Gary Mulligan (14 Jack Kelly,58) 7 Ben Baker 8 Aaron O’Connor 9 Rene Howe 10 James Hall (12 Jorrin John,65) 11 Nathan Hicks
Unused Sub: 16 Callum Willimont
Yellow Cards: None