Half Time:

Kettering Town FC: 0


Yellow Cards

Red Cards




Oswell 00

Yellow Cards

Red Cards


Full Time:

Kettering Town FC: 2


Jordon Crawford 45

Yellow Cards

Red Cards




Oswell 45

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Red Cards


Match Report

Kettering Town v AFC Telford United

Vanarama National League North

Tuesday 22nd February 2022   7:45pm


Kettering Town 

AFC Telford United


 Jackson Smith



 Luke Pilling



 Connor Barrett

  Off 80


 James Melhado         



 Alex Brown



  Ross White            



 Jack Smith

  Off 58


 Theo Streete  (Capt)            



 Connor Johnson



 Jordan Piggott



 George Cooper



 Liam Nolan



 Callum Stead



 Keaton Ward



 Connor Kennedy (Capt)



 Byron Moore              

 Off 88


 Gary Stohrer



 Jason Oswell



 Ty Deacon



 Marc Goodridge

 Off 81


 Rhys Sharpe

  Off 63


 Brendon Daniels

 Off 74














 Charlie O'Connell

  On 80


 Carl Baker        

 On 74


 George Herbert



 Pat Jarrett



 Jordon Crawford

  On 58


 Breydon Shaw

 On 88


 Saul Milovanovic



 Lamine Sherif

 On 81


 Decarrey Sheriff

  On 63


 Andre Wright



Referee: Stephen Parkinson        Assistants:  Callum Parke and Scott Mason

Apart from the narrow defeat against Kidderminster in his opening match in charge Ian Culverhouse looked to extend Kettering's unbeaten run against AFC Telford United. The squad still looked paper thin with 2 departures being matched by 2 arrivals. The team showed four changes from the one which brought back three points from the distant north against Blyth. Kevin Joshua's loan period had finished returning to WBA and was replaced by Connor Barrett resting a knock against Blyth. Captain Kennedy, after his 1 match suspension, returned to a shuffled midfield. Charlie O'Connell dropped to the bench with his place in a central back three being taken by Rhys Sharpe, with Chris Smith injured and Luke Ward not risked on a expected heavy playing surface. Debutant Jack Smith, on loan for the rest of the season from League 2 Stevenage, took the role of holding midfielder. Up front Decarrey Sheriff and Jordon Crawford, who has been playing hurt for a few weeks now, would be held in reserve by starting on the bench. The remaining starting spot would be filled by newcomer Ty Deacon, signed from the team that play at Rushden and Higham's ground, paired with Callum Stead in a 3-5-2 formation.  With Riccardo Calder departing the club for Rushall Olympic, the remaining sub's bench spot was taken by home grown youngster George Herbert.

On a clear, cool but not cold evening and for the first time in a while the absence of wind to disrupt play. After the deluge on Saturday morning forcing the postponement of the York game extensive work on the pitch and favourable drying weather conditions had left the pitch in a soft but playable condition with some slightly heavier spots. Telford in a, not for long, all white strip, kicked off attacking the Tin Hat.

Telford immediately conceded possession by lobbing the ball into the Kettering half who took advantage by instantly moving forward and pressurising the Telford penalty area which came to a halt when Johnson was penalised for handball. Telford pumped the free kick and won a throw-in on the open side about 20 yards from the by-line. After a couple of throw-ins Kennedy conceded a soft free kick on the corner of the penalty area with the Telford player going down with very minimal contact. Two players stood over the ball with the defence expecting the ball to be lifted into the penalty area. The first player made a dummy run over the ball and the second sent a low ball aimed towards the near post. Cooper wrong footed missed a chance of clearing the ball and it ran through to Jason Oswell who slotted the ball home from close range with ease. 0-1 AFC Telford 3 mins.

Kettering responded well and looked to get forward as Telford started to try slow down the game. 0n nine minutes Gary Stohrer played a nice ball forward for Ty Deacon to latch onto and his first shot for the Poppies took a deflection and went behind for Kettering's first corner of the night. Rhys Sharpe's kick from the open side was delivered beautifully and had Luke Pilling palming the ball on it's way unwilling to attempt to catch the ball. Kennedy retrieved the ball and sent it back into the middle where it was hoofed clear by a defender.

Nine minutes later Connor Barrett carried the ball well down the right wing before sending the ball high into the Telford goalmouth. Ty Deacon rose highest to get his head to the ball but it came off the top of his head with no power and Pilling was able make a routine catch under his crossbar. Within a minute Deacon was involved again this time incurring the Referee's displeasure for a raised foot when challenging for a ball in the middle of the park which led him to be the first caution of the game.

With twenty minutes of the half left Stohrer picked out Stead in space wide out on the right wing. He was closed down quickly by Ward but Callum got the better of him and the Telford stopped the attack by fouling Stead. The free kick was awarded but the referee took no further action against the transgressor with not even a word for an offence as bad as the one which earned Deacon his caution. Before Sharpe could take the kick, tight on the by-line but about 10 yards in from the touchline, arrowed in towards the near post Deacon managed to get a glancing header on the ball and sent it past Pilling into the goal. Celebrations were cut short though as Mr Parkinson saw an offence which nobody else in the ground, even the Telford players, saw and awarded a free kick to the visitors.

Denied by a dubious decision of opening his Poppies goal scoring account Deacon took it as a personal crusade to right the wrong. On thirty-three minutes he connected with a cross from Stohrer and saw his effort go narrowly over.  Two minutes later Kettering won another corner and as the ball came over Pilling came out with the intention of claiming the ball but got nowhere near it the ball was lifted back into the middle where chaos ensued with neither side able to get a meaningful contact on the ball before it broke to the Deacon by the post who saw his header go just over once again.

With Kettering applying the pressure through a string of corners Telford were hanging on and doing their utmost to eat up as much time as possible with the referee having to warn Pilling about time wasting.  The referee seemed to be losing control of the game. A rare Telford foray into Kettering territory was terminated with a Kettering clearance but it didn't stop Moore throwing himself to the floor and his arms in the air with a squeal demanding a free kick ignored by the referee but not admonished with a warning for attempting to deceive the officials as the referee awarded a throw in.

As the game entered the final minute of normal time Stohrer advanced with the ball into the penalty area before being ran into from behind by Goodridge causing Gary to fall, any penalty claims were waved away by Parkinson. Telford cleared the ball but Jack Smith brought the ball straight back. Keaton Ward made a lunging tackle way after the ball was gone but the visitor made sure that the Kettering player would not get past him earning him Telford's first card of the evening.

 Half Time: Kettering Town 0  AFC Telford United 1

Kettering came out for the second half continuing were the first half finished pushing forward and looking the better of the two teams. Kettering won an early corner two minutes into the half as a little dink over the top by Stohrer was chased by Barrett putting pressure on the Telford full back who buckled and conceded the set piece. Jack Smith aimed the corner to the back post but George Cooper put his effort wide.

On fifty minutes Telford hoisted a clearance out of defence. Sharpe failed to deal with it and the ball broke to Byron Moore who took full advantage of the opportunity and raced forward with the ball. Jackson Smith was equal to the shot though and saved low down on his near post. A minute later Telford were breaking again but Kennedy stopped their advance with a solid tackle around the half way line. Liam Nolan took exception to the tackle and with two hands shoved Kennedy to the floor. A melee ensued and the referee struggled to reassert his authority. When calm was restored Nolan received a yellow card not the red which some referees could have shown.

Kennedy was the instigator of the next noteworthy activity playing a ball aimed towards the left wing towards Callum Stead. Callum looked to have lost out to Theo Streete but before the defender could clear the ball Callum pinched it back off him and twisting and turning past the big man cut inside and engineered enough space for himself to send in a low shot which tested Pilling, who did enough to keep the ball out and have quick enough reactions to reclaim the ball before the lurking Deacon could pounce on the loose ball.  

Kettering hadn't learnt their lesson about Telford's ability for a fast break and on fifty-five minutes Johnson lost possession in the middle of the park and Telford sprung into action. This time there was two attackers Brendon Daniels and Oswell. Daniels carried the ball forward and sent a low shot angled across the face of the goal. It's unsure whether the full-length diving Jackson Smith got a touch on it or not but the ball struck the inside of the far post and bounced back into play where Oswell's strikers’ instinct has placed him perfectly to collect the rebound and pass it into the net. 0-2 Telford 55 mins

Kettering's task had now doubled and Ian Culverhouse made an immediate change bringing off Jack Smith and replacing him with Jordon Crawford moving to a 3-4-3 formation. Crawford had an almost instantaneous effect on the game as on his first touch of the ball out wide on the left he scooted past the lumbering Streete and delivered a measured cross aimed towards the far post and Kennedy. Connor couldn't make the most of the chance and his effort was blocked with relative ease by Pilling. The ball rebounded to Barrett who fired the ball goalwards but its progress was blocked by a defender's arm high above his head in an obviously “unnatural position” in the penalty area. Kettering penalty appeals were ignored by the referee who saw nothing wrong.

On sixty-three minutes with nothing to lose Kettering made their second substitution withdrawing Rhys Sharpe and bringing on striker number four to try and salvage something from the game with a 4-2-4 formation.

On sixty-seven minutes Kettering managed to pull a goal back Crawford on the left wing managed to keep the ball in play despite the Telford bench saying otherwise, no doubt the linesman's view was obscured by coaching staff straying outside their technical areas. He carried the ball forward cut inside and teed up Stead to rifle home from six yards out. 1-2 Kettering 67 mins.

Telford were in no rush to restart the game and took an age to line up and restart the game but when they did Kettering were straight back at them. Barrett tried to lift the ball over Telford's back line for Sheriff to run onto but White got his head to it to nod it back to his keeper who had two forwards pressing him to pounce on any mistake. The clearance came almost straight back aimed towards Deacon who nodded the ball outside to Stead on the right wing in plenty of space. He advanced into the box and set about the full back twisting and turning him first one way and then the other before darting past him on the outside to angle in a ball which flashed across the face of goal untouched and the outside of the far post.

Shortly after Stead went one better. Connor Barrett fed the ball forward to Callum who advanced with the ball and picked out Crawford who from twelve yards out fired the ball home via the underside of the bar to pull the game even. 2-2 Kettering 72 mins.

Telford made a substitution before the restart with Daniels who'd taken a knock being replaced by Carl Baker. Kettering were out for the win though and continued to play with a positive attitude. The four forwards spread the ball between then in a move involving Stead, Deacon, Sheriff and Crawford culminating in a shot by Jordon drawing a good save out of Pilling.

With ten minutes to go Kettering made their final substitution with Charlie O'Connell replacing Connor Barrett. Telford made their second change at the same time with the returning Lamine Sherif replacing Marc Goodridge. Five minutes after coming on Sherif reconnected with his former teammate Stohrer with a clash of heads leaving Gary on the floor with quite clearly a head injury but the referee ignored the incident. Sherif to his credit did apologise to Gary when play stopped and Rachael ran on to treat the Kettering player. The former Poppy didn't cover himself in glory though as his first four touches of the ball resulted in four undetected fouls against his former team mates.

With two minutes and any added time remaining Telford made their final change with Breydon Shaw replacing Byron Moore. Kettering again threatened the Telford goal but the final effort trickled into the hands of Pilling. Oswell also went to the floor giving the impression of being in pain requiring the attention of the physio. After receiving treatment, the player knowing he needed to leave the field turned to walk on the pitch to the half way line but the referee was wise to this charade and with the player being less than two yards from the goal post was advised to leave the pitch at the closest point and walk around the perimeter to reach the half way line. After slowly hobbling off the pitch the game restarted and once across the byline line and the referee's attention elsewhere the player jogged to the halfway line to minimise his absence from the pitch.

Neither keeper were called upon in the additional five minutes and the spoils were shared.

 Full Time: Kettering Town 2  AFC Telford United 2

The game was a mirror image of the return fixture at Telford with the visitors going into a two goal lead only to be pegged back by a determined fight back by the hosts. Kettering could bemoan some of the refereeing decisions but have only themselves to blame for sloppy defending leading to both goals. Telford with only three real goal opening managed to convert two of them. Ian Culverhouse will be happy at the fightback and the salvaging of a point but the team should not have allowed themselves to find themselves having to make a comeback. Ty Deacon acquitted himself very well for his first game at this level and hopefully he will develop into the aerial threat that Kettering have lacked in the past few seasons. The manager must also be congratulated on his positive substitutions leading to having four forwards on the pitch in order to rescue a point. On the officials note, the Telford right back Melhado committed a foul throw continuously throughout the match lifting a leg in the act of throwing and was not picked up once even after the Linesman was informed.


Kettering Town yellow cards: Deacon – high boot

AFC Telford United yellow cards: Ward – foul Nolan – unsporting conduct

Attendance: 605

Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – Callum Stead – chosen by Kieron Hawthorn.  

Callum has adapted swiftly to the higher level and spent most of the second half terrorising the Telford left back delivering a string of good balls in from the right wing. Capped off with a goal and an assist.

Klondike winning ticket – 01855 claimed by J Bacon who wind £160.


Team Sheet

Location: Home (LATIMER PARK)
Kick Off: 22nd Feb 2022
Kettering Town FC
0 Jordon Crawford
0 Oswell
0 Oswell