Match Report - ALFRETON TOWN

Half Time:

Kettering Town FC: 1

Goals

CALLUM STEAD 00

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

ALFRETON TOWN: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Full Time:

Kettering Town FC: 1

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions

ALFRETON TOWN: 0

Goals

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

Substitutions


Match Report

Kettering Town v Alfreton Town

Vanarama National League North

Saturday 2nd May 2022   3:00pm

 

Kettering Town 

Alfreton Town

1

 Jackson Smith

 

1

 George Willis

 

2

 Connor Barrett

 

2

 Josh Clackstone      

 

3

 Alex Brown

 

3

 Josh Wilde          

 Off 79

20

 Chris Smith

 

4

 Connor Branson (Capt)        

 

5

 Connor Johnson

 

5

 Dwayne Wiley

 

6

 George Cooper

 

6

 Dom Smith

 

7

 Callum Stead

 Off 65

7

 Yusifu Ceesay

 

8

 Connor Kennedy (Capt)

  

8

 Lewis Salmon          

 Off 53

9

 Gary Stohrer

 

9

 Adam Lund

 Off 81

10

 Jordon Crawford

  Off 65

10

 Dayle Southwell

 

11

 Rhys Sharpe

 

11

 Bailey Hobson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Substitutes

 

 

Substitutes

 

4

 Jack Smith

 

12

 Elliott Reeves

 On 53

17

 Decarrey Sheriff

  On 65

13

 Alfie Smith-Eccles

 

23

 Liam Daly

 

14

 Danny Preston

 On 79

13

 Rhys Davies

 

15

 Bobby Johnson

 

19

 Ty Deacon

  On 65

16

 Milan Butterfield

 On 81

 

Referee:  Kristian Silcock    Assistants:  Wayne Gray and Ian Jackson

Having played three of the top four teams in the league in the past three games Kettering once again faced a difficult opponent in the form of Alfreton Town sitting two places above the Poppies in the table and occupying the final play-off place. Alfreton would be another severe test of Kettering's resolve being unbeaten in their last eight games and a defeat for the hosts would end their play-off aspirations.

Kettering would play with the same 16-man squad that produced a controlled performance for a point at AFC Fylde on Saturday the only change being that Rhys Sharpe would start in place of Decarrey Sheriff.  Kettering's prospects were buoyed by the unavailability of Alfreton's top scorer Matt Rhead due to work commitments.  

An overcast, close day meant that it would be warm work for the players and with no wind the only concern was the rock-hard pitch which would hinder smooth flowing football but if the return fixture was anything to go by the large crowd could expect a physical match.

Alfreton in pale blue shirts and dark blue shorts kicked off attacking the Tin Hat where a respectable number of their fans were congregated with some in fancy dress. Kettering were first on the attack though in the first minute with Alex Brown feeding the ball forward to Gary Stohrer who picked out Connor Barrett in space out wide on the open side. The full back Wilde gets over quickly to cover though and breaks up the attack at the expense of a throw-in close to the corner flag which in the hands of Rhys Sharpe is as good as a corner. The ball is delivered into the goalmouth where goalkeeper George Willis punches the ball away but only to Stohrer who lifts the ball back into the goalmouth but Willis snares the ball into his arms.

Five minutes into the game and Kettering are on the attack and early in the move Connor Kennedy and Dom Smith have a coming together leaving the Alfreton player writhing on the floor. The referee saw no infraction though and allowed play to continue. Kettering work the ball into the penalty area but Alfreton clear the ball but only to Sharpe some 25 yards out and in space whereupon Mr Silcock halted play with his whistle to allow Smith to receive some treatment. On resumption of play with Kettering quite clearly in possession and in a threatening position the referee presented the ball to the Alfreton keeper for a drop ball.

For a spell nothing really happened as both sides appeared to be sizing up opposition probing for any weakness. On twelve minutes Alfreton had the ball down in the open side corner. The ball was fed back to Clackstone who delivered a neat cross into the box where it was met by the tall figure of Yusifu Ceesay but his header lacked power and was directed straight at Jackson Smith for a routine catch. Play was immediately switched to the opposite end of the field when a slick move involving Stead and Kennedy to work the ball out to Barrett on the flank his cross into the box was put behind for the first corner of the game. The set piece was not adequately cleared and Kettering were able to keep the pressure on holding onto possession on the edge of winning a second corner. Before the kick on the opposite side could be taken by Gary Stohrer the referee holds up play to have words with a few players in the box for pushing and pulling and promptly as the corner kick arrived in the goal mouth blew for a free kick to the defence.

The game meandered along to the twenty-fifth until Alfreton pushed forward through Southwell who sent a teasing ball forward in towards Ceesay but Connor Johnson was alert and managed to nick the ball away before Ceesay at the expense of Alfreton's first corner which came to nothing.

With fifteen minutes to go in the half a long clearance from Jackson Smith is played onto Connor Barrett tight on the touch line via Stead and Crawford. Connor carries the ball forward before driving a cross aimed towards the far post. Keeper Willis managed to get two hands to the ball to palm it away and behind Brown closing in at the post. The ball was cleared into the Kettering half but immediately returned by Chris Smith who lifted it over the Alfreton back line. Callum Stead tried to run onto it but had his run checked by Dom Smith which was penalised by the referee with the awarding of a Kettering free kick and the first yellow card of the afternoon.

Six minutes later the deadlock came closest to being broken. A Connor Johnson mistake led to Stohrer having to tidy up at the back but after extending himself to prevent the ball from going out for an Alfreton throw-in close to the corner coughed up possession rather too easily in a dangerous position as Alfreton moved the ball around trying to set up an opening but one of the passes was too casual and Kennedy leapt in to intercept and then set a precision pass of his own forward inside the last defender allowing Stead to pass behind said player and bear down on goal. George Willis stood up well and threw himself at the ball as Callum went for accuracy rather than power to beat the keeper and was as disappointed as the fans as the ball trickled inches wide of the far post.

In the final five minutes of the half Kettering were awarded a free kick midway inside the Alfreton half on the open side. Before the free kick was taken the referee issued his second yellow card of the day, this time to Southwell for something that he must have said to Mr Silcock as it was not him who conceded the free kick. It proved ultimately to be an expensive free-kick. The initial delivery by Sharpe was not the best and was headed out easily and looked to be going out for a throw-in in front of where the burger van previously stood. It was chased by Hobson with Stead and Cooper on his tail. With the ball tight on the touch-line Stead extended a leg and hooked the ball away from the Alfreton player and sent the ball back into the middle towards the far post where a Alfreton head partially cleared but only to Sharpe who together with Stead and Cooper passed the ball in a triangle before Cooper threaded a delightful ball through into space for Stead to run onto. Callum took possession some six yards out and moved to the apex of the goal area box. Hobson, the player who'd been originally dispossessed came from behind Stead and put in a tentative foot to try and regain possession causing Stead to go down. It looked an iffy penalty but Mr Silcock was well positioned and was certain of his decision and showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Callum Stead took the kick sending it hard to the keeper's left. The ball was at a nice height for the keeper who went the right way and got two hands to the ball but it was too powerful for Willis to keep it out. 1-0 Kettering 44 mins.

A perfect time to score just before half time with little opportunity for either side to produce anything in the remaining time with an additional two minutes. Even less so as George Willis stood for an extended period with the ball at his feet unwilling to send the ball forward content to let the clock run down and ensure that his side would get the last meaningful attack of the half.

 Half Time: Kettering Town 1  Alfreton Town 0

Neither side made any personnel changes at half time and Kettering kick-off attacking a crowded Tin-Hat and early pressure leads to winning a throw-in deep in Alfreton territory giving Sharpe the chance to deliver the ball into the penalty area which Alfreton defend at the expense of conceding a corner which proves to be unproductive.

Alfreton make an early change substituting Elliott Reeves for Lewis Salmon after 53 minutes. Four minutes later Kettering almost fall victim to one of their primary weapons the long throw-in. Alfreton take one midway inside the Kettering half on the stand side sending the ball into the penalty area where it is nodded on by an Alfreton head and fall nicely to Yusifu Ceesay who struck the ball cleanly with the outside of his right fall the ball curves slightly away from goal enough to send it into the inside of the post and bounce back into play where Jackson Smith working on reactions flaps the ball away from goal. The ball is put out for another Alfreton throw close to the corner flag. The ball reaches the goalmouth and is once again not dealt with by the Kettering defence and the ball is planted in the net but to Kettering's relief the linesman had flagged for a foul throw before the ball even reached the penalty area a definite let off for the hosts.

On the hour mark Stead broke down Alfreton's left holding the ball up well while Crawford raced forward in support. Callum seeing the run fed the ball inside to Jordon who got in a low shot on target drawing a good save from Willis.

Alfreton were doing the majority of the attacking now but Kettering's defence were holding firm with Jackson Smith not being called into action but one wonders how the availability of Matt Rhead could have changed the game. Twenty minutes into the second half Kettering made a double substitution with Stead and Crawford withdrawn in favour of Ty deacon and Decarrey Sheriff. Five minutes later Kettering had a golden opportunity to make the lead more secure when following good work once again down Alfreton's left Barrett squared a low ball, picking out Kennedy on the edge of the box positioned centrally but Connor spurned the chance sending his shot high over the bar.

With under fifteen minutes to go Ty Deacon became the first Poppy to receive a caution after challenging for a high ball with George Willis. The keeper made the most of it writhing around on the floor but once the card was produced quickly recovered and showed no discomfort when taking the free kick.

With little over ten minutes of regulation time left Alfreton made their second substitution with Josh Wilde making way for Danny Preston followed a couple of minutes later with Milan Butterfield replacing Adam Lund. In between these substitutions Ceesay blazed an opportunity high over the bar. With Kettering looking uneasy to high balls and long throws into the box Liam Daly was brought on for the final five minutes of regulation time with Rhys Sharpe making way for him.

Daly's introduction steadied the Kettering defence with an impressive cameo appearance winning every high ball into the box with impunity. Mr Silcock had a busy end to the game adding Butterfield of Alfreton for a foul and Johnson for what appeared to be for time wasting which was curious because the ball was still off the pitch when he was cautioned.  With all this activity he seemed to lose track of time adding on an extra six minutes to be played but Alfreton were no able to generate any goal scoring openings of note before the final whistle which was warmly welcomed by the home fans.

 Full Time: Kettering Town 1  Alfreton Town  0

 Another battling display from the Poppies giving a perfect result. It may not have been pretty or a game for the purists but at this stage of the season its points that count as there are no points on offer for style. For once Kettering had a referee that would be welcomed back. A penalty award in the first half which could be debated and a equaliser chalked off for a foul throw ensuring three points and coupled with a very late equaliser for Gloucester at Boston sets Kettering up for a final game of the regular season with their fate in their own hands.

Kettering Town yellow cards: Deacon – foul Johnson – time wasting

Alfreton Town yellow cards:  Smith, Butterfield – fouls Southwell - dissent

Attendance: 996

Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – Alex Brown  – chosen by Bryony Gates & Friends  

A Kettering Town man of the match performance but a standard one for Alex Brown who has produced fine performances week in week out with rarely a dip in the high standard that the team have come to expect from the left back who if not the supporters Player of the season would certainly be in pole position for Mr Consistency of the season.

Klondike winning ticket no: 04877, claimed by Brian Kingham, who won £285.


Team Sheet

Location: Home (LATIMER PARK)
Kick Off: 02nd May 2022
Kettering Town FC
RED / BLACK
Captain:
0 CALLUM STEAD
ALFRETON TOWN
WHITE / BLACK
Captain: