Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 1 Poppies



After a battle to get enough players to raise a squad this week, the Poppies gained a narrow win at Hullbridge Sports in the first qualifying round of the Emirates F A Cup. Yet again the opposition missed a penalty, this time in the 39th minute and Kettering took full advantage a few minutes later as Kai O’Keefe scored his first goal for the Club for the only goal of the game.




Kettering were without keeper, Billy Johnson with a broken finger, injured players Ben Toseland and Gary Stohrer, suspended Lewis White, cup tied Will Mellors-Blair, James Carvell,unfit, and the unavailable Sam Bennett.

In came new players, keeper, Josh Blundell, who started and on the bench were midfielder O’Shane Stewart and forward Frankie Moriarty, along with Academy graduate Harry Moors after five week wait for international clearance. Harry Reilly started as did Luca Purse and Josiah Bridgeman. Luca Miller and young keeper, Niall Shacleton completed the seven man substitutes bench.





1  Bradley Davison

2  Bryn Thorpe

3  Kevin Mbeukam

4  Michael Osei (Captain)

5  Jay Leader

6  Jamie Price (8 Bobby Badham,73)

7  Jonathan Evans (14 Daniel Walker,85)

9  Harry Brown

10 Jason Banton

11 Charlie Heatley (17 Amari Robinson-Jones

19 Michae Agboola


Unused substitutes:

12 Palvy Mandukila

13 Roy Budd (G/K)

15 Sam Dulieu

18 Jordan Fisher


Yellow Cards: None



1    Josh Blunkell

2    Owen Cochrane

4    Harry Reilly (20 O’Shane Stewart,72)

5    Kelvin Langmead

7    Kai O’Keefe (18 Luca Miller,72)

9    Tyron Lewthwaite

10  Josiah Bridgeman

11  Rhys Sharpe (14 Gedeon Okito,66)

12  Dan Jarvis

15  Huw Dawson

16  Luca Purse


Unused Substitutes:

8    Freddie Moriaty

13  Niall Shackleton (G/K)

17  Charlie Barker

19  Harry Moors


Yellow Cards: None




It was a lovely playing surface at the T.J. Cottis Stadium and warm sunny weather greeted the two teams.

The Bridge had the first opening as Charlie Heatley broke on the right, but the Poppies defence closed together to clear the danger. Kettering replied immediately winning a corner and Rhys Sharpe’s delivery was met by Luca Purse at the far post. His header, going just under the bar was palmed over at full stretch by home keeper, Bradley Davison.

On 6 minutes, Kettering’s Dan Jarvis cut inside from the left and his piledriver shot was fractionally over the bar. Kettering followed this up with a Josiah Bridgeman effort which deflected wide for a corner.

The home side’s first effort on goal after 17 minutes saw visiting keeper, Josh Blunkell, save from Harry Brown, who had raced clear- but the young forward was then ruled offside. The Poppies responded well with Sharpe and Jarvis exchanging passes and Jarvis’s shot was also deflected wide for a corner.

There was a scare for Kettering on 20 minutes as Heatley’s cross from the left grazed the bar and was cleared. The response was immediate as Kai O’Keefe raced down the right and his dangerous cross was taken by Davison.

As the game settled, the next chance fell to Bridgeman for Kettering, as he hooked his shot wide from a corner.

For the second Saturday running, the Poppies suffered from a decision from an Assistant. There were claims for a handball in the Kettering area off Kelvin Langmead.The Referee saw nothing and the Assistant raised no flag. However the Assistant called the Referee over and a penalty was awarded. The spot kick from Heatley was high over the bar as the ball left the ground.

Jarvis then saw his 35 yard free kick just pushed round the post by Davison for a corner. As the ball was cleared and recycled Luca Purse had the ball in the net but Langmead, up for the set piece was caught offside. Harry Reilly then fired wide.

In the second minute of added time in the half Kettering scored. The lively Tyrone Lewthwaite had a run down the left past his marker and his close range shot was well saved, Kai O’Keefe followed up and rammed the rebound in off a defender.


Half Time:  


HULLBRIDGE SPORTS     0       –       1           KETTERING TOWN


No changes were made at the start of the second half.

Sports were first to show but Heatley, on the right, again fired his shot out of the ground. For Kettering, Bridgeman had a shot blocked and then Sports’ Jason Banton had a run and fired wide into the side netting.

Sports were having a decent spell and Jamie Price’s shot was easy for Blunkell.

Kettering had a great chance to increase their lead on 62 minutes as both Lewthwaite and O’Keefe broke into the home penalty area displaying only a couple of defenders- but somehow completely messed up a great opportunity with poor decision making.

Blunkell was called into action, taking a cross from the left and saving from home substitute, Amari Robinson-Jones as both sides made substitutions.

The Poppies were trying to close up the game as the 70th minute came and as the minutes passed both Lewthwaite and substitute Luca Miller had shots go wide.

Blunkell came out to smother the ball away from the advancing Brown and Sports threw men forward looking for the equaliser. Corners and long throws into the visitors’ penalty area became the tactic and fortunately for Kettering, the best two chances created fell to centre back Jay Leader. The first saw him pass the ball back to Blunkell and then lob a clearance onto the top of the net with Blunkell off his line.

The Poppies held out to advance to the next round.


HULLBRIDGE SPORTS      0       –      1           KETTERING TOWN

Match Officials: Referee:Oliver Morris-Sanders; Assistants:Carl Beer and Charles Nicholls

Attendance: 224 (Kettering fans and Officials estimated at 100 and thanks for the great support again)

Poppies Media Elgoods Brewery Man of the Match: Tyrone Lewthwaite


Match Report by Sadman KTFC. 


Forthcoming Home games:

Tuesday September 12th: Needham Market at 7.45pm

Tuesday September 26th: Hitchin Town at 7.45pm

Saturday September 30th: AFC Telford United at 3pm


Forthcoming Away games:

Saturday September 9th at Bromsgrove Sporting at 3pm

Saturday September 23rd at Long Eaton United at 3pm

Emirates F A Cup draw for the second qualifying round on 16th September will be made on Monday 4th.