Match Report - BOSTON UNITED
Kettering Town FC: 2
Connor Kennedy 00
Decarrey Sheriff 00
Boston United: 0
Kettering Town FC: 2
Boston United: 2
Jordan Burrow 45
Luke Shiels 45
It was a great away performance against one of the fancied clubs for the league title. However, being 2-0 in front at half time with two goals in just over a minute from Connor Kennedy and Decarrey Sheriff, the Poppies maybe could have secured a win. Goals from Boston’s Jordan Burrow and Luke Shiels in a five-minute second half spell ensured a share of the points.
THE KETTERING SQUAD:
The starting eleven was unchanged (as was Boston’s). New loan signing Liam Hughes and Jevan Anderson, after injury, were on the substitutes bench, replacing Jay Williams and Ashanti Pryce.
The teams lined up:
1 Ross Fitzsimons
2 Matt Tootle
3 Scott Duxbury
4 Tom Platt
6 Luke Shiels (Captain)
9 Jordan Burrow
12 Pierce Bird
17 Connor Dimaio (7 Andy Thanoj,86)
18 Terry Hawkridge (11 Jay Rollins,62)
21 Fraser Preston (10 Jordan Thewlis,80)
22 Joe Leesley
5 Scott Garner
8 Paul Green
Yellow Cards: Dimaio, 84
1 Adam Collin
2 Gary Stohrer
3 Connor Johnson
4 Ben Milnes
5 Ryan Fryatt
6 Michael McGrath (Captain)
7 Callum Powell
8 Connor Kennedy
24 Kyle Perry (16 Liam Hughes,67)
10 Michael Richens
11 Decarrey Sheriff
12 Sam Jones
14 Ben Stephens
15 Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls
17 Jevan Anderson
Yellow cards: None
In the first midweek home league game at the new and partly completed Jakeman’s Community Stadium, the grass surface was decent given recent weather.
The Pilgrims forced two early corners which came to nothing and it wasn’t until the 8th minute that the Poppies got anywhere near the home goal – from a Connor Kennedy long throw, which saw Ben Milnes’ shot charged down.
Joe Leesley’s low left foot shot was comfortably saved by Adam Collin and Kettering responded straight away with a run and cross from left back, Gary Stohrer but a foul by Kyle Perry halted the attack.
A 13th minute foul on Ben Milnes gave a direct free kick opportunity, but whilst Michael McGrath’s shot from around 28 yards was on target, it was an easy catch for home keeper, Ross Fitzsimmons. Two minutes later it was an equally easy catch for the keeper from Kennedy’s long throw.
Boston were moving the ball around nicely albeit that the visiting defence was very solid. The next threat from the home side saw Fraser Preston head onto the top of the net with Collin watching it all the way. The Pilgrims followed this up with a direct free kick which cannoned off the defensive wall for what was to be a fruitless corner.
The Poppies responded with a corner of their own, but Kyle Perry was penalised for a foul in the six-yard box.
The game was being played at a very fast tempo as dictated by the home side, with the Referee letting the game flow despite some questionable tackles. Home players Tom Platt and Connor Dimaio were constant offenders- earning just words from the Official.
On 37 minutes Kettering broke very quickly and should have scored the first goal. A great break down the right by an inspired Ben Milnes saw him cross to the far post. Perry met the ball on the volley a few yards out but the right foot shot was totally miscued back across goal.
It wasn’t long before Kettering atoned for that miss. On 39 minutes a long free kick into the Boston box was not properly cleared. Connor Kennedy collected the ball in the right hand side of the area and, still with a lot to do, drilled the ball with a right foot shot low to Fitzsimmons’ right and in at the left upright.
The Pilgrims were clearly rattled and just over a minute later the Poppies doubled their lead. Decarrey Sheriff chased a long ball down the right and drifted inside onto his left foot. The shot was low and hard and Fitzsimmons got to it but somehow let the ball dribble in at the right post.
A shocked home side came back very strongly, but Kettering’s defence was solid. In fact in added time in the half, Sheriff got down the right again and this time his right foot shot was just about kept out by Fitzsimmons as he palmed away the goal-bound shot,
B0STON UNITED 0 - 2 KETTERING TOWN
As could have been expected, the Pilgrims came out in the second half with all guns blazing. The initial surge was repelled by the stubborn visiting defence and the Poppies broke - almost scoring a third goal. Perry won a header from a free kick and Kennedy latched onto the ball to see his vicious shot touched over the bar by Fitzsimmons. The Referee awarded a goal kick.
Boston surged forward at every opportunity and Kettering’ rearguard began to wobble. Leesley headed wide from Matt Tootle’s cross and both Preston and Dimaio sent shots high and wide from good positions. But it wasn’t long before the Pilgrims scored.
Michael McGrath and Connor Johnson got in a mess with a high ball and possession was lost. The ball was played across goal from the right and Jordan Burrow had an easy finish past Collin to reduce the arrears on 59 minutes.
Worse was to come as just four minutes later Boston equalised. A corner on the left to the far post saw Luke Shiels beat Collin to the ball and head into the unguarded net. It was a rare mistake by the Kettering keeper.
Kettering were really struggling at this stage and after another high ball had been misjudged by McGrath, Collin saved well from Burrow. Then a Leesley left footed free kick was blocked by the defensive wall.
It had been a severe 20 minutes for the Poppies and at this stage the writing was on the wall. However, the determination was there and the visitors began to get back into the game, which prompted more fouls from the same two Boston players who offended in the first half. One such foul saw a McGrath free kick palmed away by Fitzsimmons for a corner.
The Poppies were now firmly back in the game having ridden the storm and in fact finished the stronger. Perry was replaced by Liam Hughes (an even larger version of Perry) and he was soon in the game winning almost every header he challenged for.
The otherwise quiet Callum Powell made a good run and from his cross McGrath’s shot was blocked. Milnes’ 75thminute free kick was an easy save for Fitzsimmons and a minute later Hughes’ presence forced a corner to be conceded which was eventually cleared under pressure.
On 82 minutes Kettering could have scored. Hughes met Gary Stohrer’s cross from the left with a diving header, but the effort drifted well wide of the left upright. Finally, Dimaio went into the Referee’s notebook on 84 minutes for persistent offending and he was soon substituted.
The final action saw Collin save comfortably from Leesley and Powell’s left foot shot was wide as the teams shared the draw.
BOSTON UNITED 2 - 2 KETTERING TOWN
Referee: Aaron Bannister. Assistants: Ian Jackson and Mark Chalkley
Poppies Man of the Match: Decarrey Sheriff – best league game performance since he joined us.
Our next game is a home game on Saturday 9th January at 3pm against Gateshead.
Match report posted by Sadman KTFC.