Match Report - BLYTH SPARTANS

Half Time:

Kettering Town FC: 1

Goals

Callum Powell 00

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

BLYTH SPARTANS: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Full Time:

Kettering Town FC: 4

Goals

Connor Kennedy 45
Connor Kennedy 45
GERRY MCDONAGH 45

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

BLYTH SPARTANS: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Match Report

Kettering Town v Blyth Spartans

Vanarama National League North

Saturday 6th September 2021   3:00pm

 

Kettering Town 

Blyth Spartans

1

 Rhys Davies

 

1

 Alex Mitchell

 

2

 Connor Barrett

 

2

 Rhys Evans          

 

3

 Rhys Sharpe

 

5

 Nathan Buddle              

 

4

 Luke O'Neill    

 

6

 Jordan Watson     (Capt)          

 

5

 Connor Johnson

 

8

 Jordan Hickey

 Off 55

6

 Chris Smith

 

10

 JJ O'Donnell

 

7

 Callum Powell

 Off 80

14

 Lewis McNall

 Off 68

8

 Connor Kennedy (Capt)

 

17

 Nicky Deverdics              

 Off 68

9

 Gerry McDonagh

 Off 81

18

 Toby Lees

 

10

 Lamine Sherif

 

21

 Ben Milburn

 

11

 Harrison Neal

 

23

 Aaron Cunningham                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Substitutes

 

 

Substitutes

 

12

 Jordon Crawford

 On 80

11

 Robbie Dale          

 On 68

14

 Gary Stohrer

 

12

 Karl Byrne           

 

16

 Claudio Ofosu

 

15

 Corey McKeown

 On 68

15

 Alex Brown

 

16

 Cameron Painter

 

24

 Kyle Perry

 On 81

19

 Connor Thomson

 On 55

 

Referee: Jonathan Maskrey       Assistants: Ashley Clarke, David Burton and Andy Woolmer

The good start to the season was in danger of becoming a distant memory with Kettering having failed to win a competitive match in five attempts this, coupled with missing games had seen the team fall down the table. It was important that this sequence of results be broken to restore morale and confidence in the young squad in order to prevent the side becoming embroiled in the relegation battle. Today's visitors Blyth Spartans were already there and on a seven-match losing streak only scoring 2 goals and conceding 17.  Connor Johnson returned after illness, Rhys Sharpe after injury and Harrison Neal after suspension. Rhys Davies and Lamine Sherif were restored to starting XI with Alex Brown, Claudio Ofosu and Gary Stohrer reverting to the bench.

With the pitch and weather conditions being conducive for good football Blyth Spartans in green and white striped shirts and black shorts kicked off attacking the Tin Hat. With both sides adopting a 3-5-2 formation the middle of the park was a crowded place. Kettering had the first chance of the game when a Connor Barrett cross picked out Callum Powell on the edge of the box. Callum took a touch but saw his shot blocked by Ben Milburn making his debut. Three minutes later Powell was in action again. A free kick from Rhys Davies found Connor Kennedy who headed the ball on for Callum to run onto. Callum outpaced his marker and 1v1 with the keeper, picked his spot and clinically beat Mitchell. 1-0 Kettering 6 mins.

Kettering kept the pressure on and won three corners in quick succession but they all came to nothing, as did a penalty appeal when McDonagh appeared to be wrestled to the floor. Ten minutes after taking the lead Rhys Davies almost gifted the Spartans a route back into the match. A less than perfect back pass was dealt with in a leisurely manner by the keeper whilst JJ O'Donnell rapidly closed him down. The eventual clearance struck the forward and could have gone anywhere, luckily for Kettering not into the goal. Rhys obviously hadn't learned his lesson from 4 days earlier when the same happened in the Diamonds game.

Kettering sustained the pressure winning another couple of corners. The first was met by a good punch by Mitchell. The second caused more confusion in the Blyth goalmouth when Mitchell's punch was less positive and Kennedy headed the ball goal wards. Rhys Evans blocked the ball on the goal-line but with the ball loose on the floor, Evans bravely cleared the ball but was caught by McDonagh determinedly challenging in an attempt to force the ball home. Mr Maskrey awarded a free kick but took no further action determining that it was an honest attempt to reach the ball.  The referee himself would take no further action in the game shortly after as after a rare Blyth attack resulting in a goal kick Mr Maskrey pulled up holding his right calf. After treatment from Rachel Birks, the Kettering sports therapist, it was determined that he could not continue. Ashley Clarke took over with the whistle and Andy Woolmer luckily in attendance took over as linesman.

After a considerable break play resumed in a less positive manner with neither side creating any sort of chance. With thirty-six minutes of the clock Lamine Sherif chanced his arm with a curling shot from the edge of the area but it passed narrowly high and wide. Kettering kept up the pressure winning two more corners. Mitchell punched one clear but only as far as Powell who fired in a shot. Alex Mitchell looked to have saved comfortably but spilled the shot but he reacted quick enough to regain possession before Kennedy lurking could pounce.

Due to Mr Maskrey's injury seven additional minutes were to be played at the end of regulation time.  Connor Johnson picked up the first yellow of the game after forty-six minutes following an innocuous challenge but the stand-in referee responded to a couple of Spartans' complaints and booked the Kettering man. The resulting free-kick after being headed clear by Johnson was played back into the box but JJ O'Donnell sent his header wide. Two minutes later Blyth had their best chance of the first half being awarded a free kick some 25 yards out following a rash challenge by McDonagh. It was in a very similar position to that which led to Darlington's opener the previous Saturday. That is where the similarity ended as the kick flew straight into the wall and was cleared. Kettering broke well and the ball was worked to Gerry McDonagh in the centre of the park. He advanced to just outside the penalty area and unleashed a powerful shot but it was rising all the way and cleared the bar by a matter of inches.  

 Half Time: Kettering Town 1  Blyth Spartans 0

With a single goal lead Kettering came out for the second half looking for their first half dominance to be more accurately reflected in the scoreline. Two minutes into the half Connor Kennedy lifted the ball into the box from the stand side aiming for the far post. Johnson got his head to the ball taking it away from Chris Smith who was better placed just behind him. The ball broke to Smith though and his stabbed effort at goal was turned behind for a corner.  The corner was partially cleared but the ball came straight back and behind for another corner. The corner was not properly cleared and found Kettering in possession on the edge of the area. However, Hickey had taken a knock and was face down on the ground causing the referee to halt the game.  Kettering were awarded an uncontested drop ball a couple of yards outside the area with Powell. He played the ball back to Harrison Neal who lifted the ball over Blyth's defensive line where Connor Kennedy hit the dropping ball first time on the volley to smash the ball past Mitchell. 2-0 Kettering 50 mins.

Jordan Hickey was suffering from his knock and within two minutes was replaced by Connor Thomson. His introduction led to Blyth coming back into the game having nothing to lose.

With sixty-seven minutes played Kettering finally managed to capitalise on one of their corners. Rhys Sharpe took the corner from the stand side aiming it long towards the far post. Connor Kennedy seemingly unmarked sent a looping header back in the direction it'd come from over the keeper and into the far top corner. 3-0 Kettering 67 mins.

Blyth's response was to make a double substitution with Nicky Deverdics and Lewis McNall being replaced by Robbie Dale and Corey McKeown. Before either of them had got up to speed with the game Kettering had made it four. Powell received the ball from Rhys Davies in a central position mid-way inside Blyth's half. Callum carried the ball forward daring the defenders to challenge him. With the defence backing off him he advanced to just outside the penalty area before slipping the ball forward to his left where McDonagh had made a run. Gerry had time and space to pick his spot and slot it past Mitchell for his debut goal for the club. 4-0 Kettering 71 mins.

Kettering won back possession almost immediately from the kick off and once again Callum Powell was striding purposely down the middle of the pitch. Fearful of a repeat performance by Powell he was cut down in full flow by Cunningham earning himself a rightful yellow card. Powell took the free-kick himself but it passed well over the bar.

With fifteen minutes to go Blyth had a golden opportunity to get a consolation goal. Breaking down Kettering's right the ball was played across the face of the goal to JJ O'Donnell with the goal open before him. He fired in a low shot but Harrison Neal threw himself in the way and blocked the ball away for a corner denying a certain goal. The corner was poor and was swiftly changed into a Kettering counter attack through Lamine Sherif but he was cynically cut down by Watson earning a second Blyth caution.

Shortly after Connor Barrett linked up well with Powell. Callum found himself confronted with two defenders but skilfully turned inside them and sent a left footed powerful shot arcing towards the far side of the goal. Alex Mitchell got to the ball and fisted it away but straight at Kennedy striking the player's head and cannoning off and just over the bar. It was to be Callum's last input to the game being replaced shortly after by Jordon Crawford. Powell was disappointed to be substituted but with the game already won saving him for Tuesday's game must have been a factor. Within a minute Kyle Perry replaced Gerry McDonagh.

With under ten minutes to go Blyth once again broke forward and JJ O'Donnell brought a great save out of Rhys Davies for Spartans' first corner. It came to nothing as it was cleared by Perry. Kettering quickly turned defence into attack through Sherif and onto Crawford out wide on the open side touch line. Sharpe was quickly into a supporting position offering Jordon an out ball. Rhys fed the ball inside to Neal who spread the ball wide to Barrett in front of the Gazebo stand. Connor drew two defenders but fed the ball to Neal who was quickly closed down by two defenders but he turned well to square the ball to an open Crawford some seven yards out. With it seemingly easier to score Jordon managed to spoon the ball over the bar.  Shortly after Harrison Neal crossed into box for Kennedy but Connor couldn't keep his header down and it passed over the bar. Blyth moved the ball up the other end and won a corner when Sharpe put the ball behind. The corner was swung in and was prevented from going in by Luke O'Neil getting his thigh to the ball on the line to send it behind for Blyth's third corner of the game but it came to nothing.

As the game entered its final minute Barrett carried the ball out of defence. He was closed down by two defenders just about on the halfway line where he was dispossessed. Angry with himself for losing the ball he chased after Cunningham catching him just on the touch-line almost directly below the camera position and rushed in, in a forceful manner. Handbags were brandished and Cunningham attempted to throw a punch. Once calm was restored Barrett received a yellow and Cunningham a straight red.

 In the three added minute Kettering came close to adding a fifth from two consecutive in swinging Sharpe corners with two defenders clearing both off the line. The final action of game was a Blyth attack when a Thomson shot drew another good save out of Rhys Davies palming the ball away. The ball fell to the feet of Watson who managed to scoop the ball over the top of an open goal.

Full Time: Kettering Town 4  Blyth Spartans 0

A very welcome return to form by Kettering. Cynics will say it was against poor opposition but you can only beat what is in front of you and Kettering did this emphatically. Efforts must be made to convert pressure into goals as ten corners in the first half were not converted. The second half was a good team performance but with three awkward away fixtures on the trot by the time Kettering next perform at Latimer Park we will know if the wobble has been stabilised.  Mention must be made of both referees who on the whole got their decision’s right and the game flowing two of the best that we have had at Latimer Park this season.

Kettering Town yellow cards:   Johnson, Barrett – foul

Blyth Spartans yellow cards:  Cunningham, Watson – fouls  Red: Cunningham  - violent conduct      

Attendance: 669

Elgoods Brewery Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – Connor Kennedy– chosen by Essity.

As match fitness returns Connor is performing to the high standard that the fans know he is capable of. An assist for the opening goal and a brace of goals, the first a delightful volley. The captain is leading from the front.

Klondike winning ticket No: 15424, claimed by Dick Kirk who wins £185.


Team Sheet

Location: Home (LATIMER PARK)
Kick Off: 13th Nov 2021
Kettering Town FC
RED / BLACK
Captain:
0 Connor Kennedy
0 Connor Kennedy
0 Callum Powell
0 GERRY MCDONAGH
BLYTH SPARTANS
GREEN / BLACK
Captain: