27 Aug MATCH REPORT: Redditch United 2-0 Poppies
Sometimes things just don’t go your way and today’s game at the Valley Stadium Redditch was one of those occasions. The Poppies had looked in control of the game and the more likely winners until a mad 90 seconds in the second half when defender, Lewis White was sent off and Redditch took the lead. A second goal 8 minutes from time put pay to the ten man effort, as the Officials incurred the wrath of the travelling fans. The Poppies suffered a penalty miss in the first period as Sam Bennett’s spot kick was saved.
THE KETTERING SQUAD:
Sam Bennett returned after injury, but Ty Lewthwaite was sidelined with a toe injury. Lewis White was also back after his injury as Harry Reilly reverted to the bench.
1 Adam Harrison
2 Bradley Burton
3 Finn Howell
4 Gift Mussa
6 Ryan Wollacot
9 Jenson Cooper (Johnny Johnson, 78)
10 Danny King
11 Adriel George (20 Kyle Belmonte,82)
14 Aram Soleman (12 Jeremy Abbey,90+2)
18 Liam Armstrong
19 Musa Ceesay
13 Benjamin Taylor
Yellow Cards: Mussa,61;Johnson,83;Belmonte,85
1 Billy Johnson
2 Owen Cochrane
3 Ben Toseland
5 Kelvin Langmead
6 Lewis White
8 Gary Stohrer (Captain)
10 Sam Bennett (7 Kai O’Keefe,90)
11 Rhys Sharpe
12 Dan Jarvis
15 Huw Dawson (18 Luca Miller,82)
20 Will Mellors-Blair (14 Gideon Okito,76)
4 Harry Reilly
17 Charley Barker
Yellow Cards: White, 52 and 67 (Red Card,67); Dawson,58; Bennett,75; Sharpe
HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED:
There had been heavy showers in the West Midlands but the artificial surface at the Valley Stadium was good.
Kettering started with a high tempo, pushing their hosts back into defence and a run by Gary Stohrer was blunted by three defenders, with Owen Cochrane’s subsequent cross from the right guided away for a fruitless corner. Rhys Sharpe’s early free kick was met by Kelvin Langmead and his effort also went for a corner as did Dan Jarvis’s 5th minute deflected shot.
The Poppies maintained the pressure and it wasn’t until the 13th minute that the Redditch Reds got into the visiting box as Ben Toseland lost the ball and Gift Mussa shot well wide.
Will Mellors-Blair had a run and cross which was hastily cleared and another run from him opened up the home defence, sending Sam Bennett clear to force a very good save from Adam Harrison- albeit the Assistant’s late flag for offside would have prevailed.
Dan Jarvis, operating on the left, cut inside in the 28th minute and his shot from 25 yards was going in the top right corner- only for Harrison to make an excellent save at full stretch. Two Kettering corners followed without troubling the Redditch defence.
Billy Johnson was called on to make a low diving save to his left from Adriel George’s free kick and then George did well to get past his man on the left and his low shot drifted past the far post.
In the 37th minute Kettering were awarded a penalty. Sharpe’s long throw saw Langmead bundled over somewhat clumsily and Bennett stepped up to see his penalty come off the strong arm of Harrison and bounce over the bar. The Kettering players felt that Harrison was well off his line, not acknowledged by the Officials, and the keeper was honest to admit, later, to the Kettering fans behind the goal that he was at least a yard off his line!
From the subsequent corner, Lewis White headed just wide. Redditch forced a couple of corners without troubling the Kettering goal. In the final minutes of the half Billy Johnson was in the action. First his long clearance sent Bennett clear on the left and his left foot shot was well stopped by Harrison. Then, at the other end, Johnson made a complete hash as he came out of his area to clear the ball and fortunately for him his skipper, Stohrer, made an excellent clearance.
REDDITCH UNITED 0 – 0 KETTERING TOWN
There were no personnel changes at half time.
The Poppies started the second period where they’d finished the first half and won an early free kick. Jarvis curled the kick from the right behind the defence and White could just not reach with his dive at the ball.
The Poppies created another fast break and Jarvis set up a chance for Bennett but Harrison pushed the effort wide.
There was a touchline incident at the same time that White was yellow carded for Kettering and home Manager, Matt Clarke also saw yellow. White was soon in the action again as he headed across goal from a set piece, but Harrison collected.
A defensive lapse by the Poppies saw George have an opening but his high lob was easy for Johnson to collect. Kettering were still trying to break the deadlock and Mellors-Blair set up Bennett, whose shot was knocked away for a corner.
The game changed on 67 minutes. After a Kettering corner, the Assistant reported an incident to the Referee, unseen by anyone else in the ground, and White received a second yellow card reducing Kettering to 10 men. As Kettering protested another yellow card was waived at a Kettering player (Sharpe).
If that wasn’t bad enough, around 90 seconds later a mistimed tackle by Stohrer on Aram Soleman conceded a clear penalty. Soleman saw his spot kick well saved by Johnson, but unlike the first half penalty the ball ran loose for Soleman to drill home. It was hard on Johnson.
Kettering’s ten men battled well and substitutions followed to try to get something out of the game. On 75 minutes the Poppies had a very creditable claim for a penalty, as a defender handled, but were denied a second spot kick, as this time the Assistant and Referee saw nothing. Bennett was yellow carded for dissent.
Redditch’s first substitution saw promising prospect Johnny Johnson come on and within five minutes he sealed the game with a fantastic shot from around 22 yards, giving namesake Kettering keeper Johnson no chance.
The usual added minutes at the end, this time eight, saw the home side comfortably seal the win.
REDDITCH UNITED 2 – 0 KETTERING TOWN
Match Officials: Referee: Lewis Mountain; Assistants: Shaun Currall and Joshua Sudbury
Attendance: 324 (Kettering fans and Officials estimated at 100 and thanks for the great support again)
Poppies Media Elgoods Brewery Man of the Match: Rhys Sharpe
Match Report by Sadman KTFC.
Forthcoming Home games:
Monday August 28th: St Ives Town at 3pm
Tuesday September 12th: Needham Market at 7.45pm
Tuesday September 26th: Hitchin Town at 7.45pm
Forthcoming Away games:
Saturday September 2nd at Hullbridge Sports at 3pm ( Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round)
Saturday September 9th at Bromsgrove Sporting at 3pm
Saturday September 23rd at Long Eaton United at 3pm