01 Oct Match Report: Hitchin Town 0 – 1 The Poppies
In a game which saw a lot of play in midfield and few chances for either goalkeeper to save, the Poppies progressed to the next round of the Emirates F A Cup courtesy of Tyrone Lewthwaite’s 74th minute strike. It was a stark reversal of the performance seen by Kettering in the League game at home to the same opponents in midweek.
THE KETTERING SQUAD:
Lewis White was injured and Will Mellors-Blair cup-tied. In came Luca Purse and new signing Leon Clarke. Gary Stohrer was back after injury and Ben Toseland started in a changed formation. Harry Reilly and Sam Bennett dropped to the bench. O’Shane Stewart served his one game ban for the red card he picked up against Long Eaton United.
1 Charlie Horlock (Captain)
2 Bradley Bell
3 Layne Eadie
4 Stan Georgiou
5 Ciaren Jones
6 Lewis Barker
7 Kye Tearle
8 Kavan Cotter (16 Toby Syme,60)
9 Daniel Idiakhoa
10 Isaac Galliford (12 Jack Snelus,60)
11 Finley Wilkinson
13 Josh Mollison
14 Dan Emovon
15 Temi Akinbusoye
17 Chris Khoo
18 Steven Gleeson
Yellow Card: Idiakhoa,83 plus a member of the Hitchin management team.
1 Billy Johnson
2 Owen Cochrane
3 Ben Toseland
5 Kelvin Langmead
7 Leon Clarke
8 Gary Stohrer (Captain)
9 Tyrone Lewthwaite (17 Josiah Bridgeman, 90+3)
11 Rhys Sharpe
12 Dan Jarvis (10 Sam Bennett,79)
15 Huw Dawson
18 Luca Purse
4 Harry Reilly
13 Josh Blunkell (G/K)
14 Gedeon Okito
18 Tom Scott
20 Harry Moors
Yellow Cards: None
HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED:
The pitch at Top Field Hitchin looked really good today for this Emirates F A Cup Third Round Qualifying tie and the climate in Hertfordshire was pleasant.
The Poppies forced the first corner, which was taken, unchallenged, by home keeper and Captain, Charlie Horlock. Kettering forced the first real opening after 8 minutes as Tyrone Lewthwaite’s shot was blocked by a great defensive challenge.
The Canaries’ first opportunity fell to the dangerous Finley Wilkinson coming in from the left side – but his shot was high and wide. The first part of the match was very competitive, and the Poppies were giving as good as they got in the midfield battle and showing some promise.
Bradley Bell, for Hitchin, overlapped on the right and Billy Johnson was down quickly to smother the cross and then at the other end, Dan Jarvis saw his 25 yard free kick just go over the angle of post and crossbar. Two home free kicks were cleared away before Kettering broke away and Owen Cochrane’s cross was just too far in front of Lewthwaite with Horlock fielding the loose ball.
The game approached the half hour, still keenly contested, but mainly in midfield. Wilkinson, for Hitchin, had an opening but lost control of the ball and immediately Kettering broke with Lewthwaite winning a corner, which came to nothing.
The Poppies next threatened on 33 minutes as, from a set piece, Kelvin Langmead headed on for Lewthwaite and the pass was just too firm for Huw Dawson to make good contact as the shot sailed high over the bar. Straight away, and on the break, Wilkinson, on the right, saw his speculative low shot pushed away for a corner by Johnson.
Hitchin followed this up with the next chance as Isaac Galliford shot- but it was an easy save for Johnson.
Hitchin finished the half on the front foot though and forced another unproductive corner before Kye Tearle saw his gentle shot picked up by Johnson.
The teams had cancelled each other out in this first half stalemate.
HITCHIN TOWN 0 – 0 KETTERING TOWN
Both Managers kept their teams unchanged as the second half commenced.
Rhys Sharpe’s 50th minute long throw into the home six yard box caused some panic- but was cleared eventually and as the breakaway came, Wilkinson may have done better as he shot weakly into the side netting.
The game was stopped for a good two minutes as the Assistant on the stand side regrettably reported some homophobic comments from the crowd aimed at a Kettering player – something which both clubs condemned post match.
A Kettering 52nd minute free kick was punched away well by Horlock and this was followed by a Hitchin direct free kick from Galliford, which cannoned off the defensive wall and the follow up shot was a poor one- drifting well wide.
It was anyone’s game at this stage. The home side enjoyed some pressure and began to camp in the Kettering half. Substitute Jack Snelus had a shot very well blocked and Wilkinson had a header well wide from Tearle’s cross. A 70th minute melee in the Kettering penalty area spelled danger for the visitors but Luca Purse stepped up to defend well and Dawson made a great block to keep out the home team’s threat.
Kettering dragged themselves back into the game after this solid defending. So much so, that they took the lead on 74 minutes. A good run by Dan Jarvis won a corner on the left. His restart found a Kettering head at the back post and as the ball travelled back across goal Ty Lewthwaite was in the right place again to force the ball over the line off the bar.
The Canaries had to attack now, but Kettering were well organised with Dawson and Gary Stohrer playing in front of the defence and, by and large, Kettering looked comfortable.
Hitchin had attempts in the last 15 minutes to score with Wilkinson firing over after a slick move, Idiakhoa seeing his cross from the right going too high and injury time efforts from Snelus and Lewis Barker both missing the target.
So the Poppies progress to the 4th Round Qualifying with the draw taking place on Monday next.
HITCHIN TOWN 0 – 1 KETTERING TOWN
Match Officials: Referee: Michael Robertson-Tant; Assistants: Shaun Barry and Nathan Brigg
Attendance: 832 (Kettering fans and Officials estimated at 200 – what brilliant support – thank you. The Club really appreciates it)
Poppies Media Elgoods Brewery Man of the Match: Luca Purse
Match Report by Sadman KTFC.
Forthcoming Home games:
Saturday October 21st: Mickleover Sports at 3pm
Tuesday October 31st: AFC Telford United at 7.45pm
Forthcoming Away games:
Saturday October 7th: St Ives Town at 3pm (3rd Qualifying Round of the Isuzu F A Trophy)
Tuesday October 24th: Leiston at 7.45pm
Saturday October 28th: Berkhamsted at 3pm
The next Round of the Emirates F A Cup (4th Round Qualifying) is on Saturday 14th October and the draw will be made on Monday 2nd October.