Photo (Paul Cooke/Poppies Media)

It was stalemate today at a very blustery Eyrie as the teams ended all square after ninety minutes.
Kettering took the lead in the 52nd minute through a deflected Sam Bennett shot (above) and Bedford equalised in the 85th minute. The Poppies fielded a strong side for the first 60 minutes after which seven players were substituted by trialists.

Kettering starting line up:

Billy Johnson;
Trialist, Kelvin Langmead, Lewis White, Rhys Sharpe;
Trialist, Gary Stohrer, Trialist, Trialist;
Sam Bennett, Ty Lewthwaite.

The only players to complete the 90 minutes were:Johnson,Langmead,Stohrer,and a Trialist.

The Poppies faced an almost gale force wind in the first half as the game kicked off at a somewhat furious pace. Goal attempts were at a premium however and Kettering central defender Kelvin Langmead got in a great block early on to protect keeper, Billy Johnson.

Kettering had the better of the play and goal chances in the first half.

The first real goal attempt from Sam Bennett saw him on the left and his left foot shot drifted well wide of the right post after determined play by Gary Stohrer.Bennett followed this up by another shot from the left,which also went just wide.

On 27 minutes Bennett tried his luck again,and the shot was on target,with the home keeper getting down to save.

Just on the break,Kettering’s best chance fell to Ty Lewthwaite as he was put through by Stohrer, but his shot was wide of the target.

Kettering keeper,Billy Johnson, had a bit of rough treatment in,firstly, taking a cross,and secondly smothering the ball on the ground and needed lengthy treatment both times,and at half time his forehead reflected studmarks and heavy bruising.

Half time:  0 – 0

The second half saw the Poppies with the wind at their backs and within 7 minutes they had taken the lead. Bennett went clear down the right and his shot was deflected past the keeper by a defender.

The game then deteriorated rapidly as both teams made substitutions and the flow of the game slowed. If anything the Eagles had the better of the play but without creating clear chances.

Bedford equalised with what was their only attempt on target during the match as,on 85 minutes, the visitors’ defence failed to clear a set piece and the ball was lashed in from around the penalty spot.

A couple of Bedford players were cautioned for dangerous tackles in what was overall a well contested game.

Full time:  1 – 1

Attendance: 270 (Kettering fans and officials estimated at 50).

Thanks to Bedford for hosting the game.

Remaining July friendlies:

HOME: (Both pay what you want games):

Thursday 27th July at 7.30pm :M K Dons under 19’s

Saturday 29th July at 3pm: Spalding United


Tuesday 18th July at 7.45pm: Cogenhoe United

Saturday 22nd July at 3pm: Corby Town

Tuesday 25th July at 7.45pm: Desborough Town

League fixtures begin on Saturday 5th August when we are away at Stamford at 3pm followed by a home fixture against Stourbridge on Saturday 12th August at 3pm.

Match report by Sadman