LEAMINGTON 1-0 KETTERING TOWN
The Poppies promised much in the first half of this game, having the better of the play, whilst not necessarily working the home keeper to any great extent. The second half was totally different with Leamington bossing the game and scoring the all important first goal which was always going to be critical in this game. The match was won with Dan Turner’s goal on 67 minutes and home keeper, Callum Hawkins, did not have a shot to save in the second period.
THE KETTERING SQUAD:
Ben Sault did not feature in the squad. Out also went Sam Bennett and Jordan Graham, replaced by Andre Wright, Keaton Ward and Decarrey Sheriff with Neo Richard-Noel completing the bench.
The teams lined up:
1 Callum Hawkins
2 Dan Meredith
3 Louis Hall
4 Simeon Maye
5 Theo Streete
6 Jack Lane
7 Ben Usher-Shipway (14 Kieran Cooke,78)
8 Adam Walker
9 Dan Turner (16 Junior English, 90+2)
10 Jack Edwards (Captain)
11 Devon Kelly-Evans
15 Alex Prosser
17 Stefan Morley
Yellow Card: Walker,26.
1 Cameron Gregory
3 Harry Reilly
4 Lewis White
6 Brad Gascoigne
7 Andrew Oluwabori (18 Neo Richard-Noel, 87)
8 Gary Stohrer (Captain)
10 Keaton Ward
11 Rhys Sharpe
12 George Cooper
16 Andre Wright (15 Sam Bennett,80)
17 Decarrey Sheriff (9 Jordan Graham,87)
5 Ben Toseland
14 Ethan Hill
Yellow cards: None
The sparse crowd respectfully observed a minute’s silence before the game to remember our late Queen.
As the renowned floodlights lit up the Co-op Community Stadium the pitch looked in decent condition as the Poppies kicked off playing towards the clubhouse end.
During the first few minutes Ben Usher-Shipway managed to launch four long throws into the Kettering penalty area and all were well defended. The hosts were pushing forward and Rhys Sharpe got in a great block from a shot from Dan Meredith.
Kettering’s first foray into the home penalty area saw keeper Callum Hawkins just get to a Brad Gascoigne cross in towards the penalty spot as Decarrey Sheriff looked to pounce.
On 14 minutes a Sharpe throw into the home penalty area was partly cleared as far as Gary Stohrer and his shot was just over the bar. Two minutes later an inviting Sharpe free kick into the six yard box saw no anticipation from the Kettering attackers and the ball drifted out of play.
With 20 minutes gone both keepers had not had much to do. Another Usher-Shipway long throw was cleared and then followed the first real chance of the game.
Andrew Oluwabori got in a low cross from the right. Sheriff was first to react and poked the ball goalwards. The ball hit Hawkins and flew over the bar. Some neat Kettering approach play created a 27th minute opening for Andre Wright, but the shot was wide. Another Sharpe long throw won a corner but the home defending was solid.
The Poppies were on the front foot and skipper, Gary Stohrer, pounced on a loose ball with a good interception, but his run on goal was halted by a couple of defenders. Leamington saw a rare break and Devon Kelly-Evans’ shot was headed away by Gascoigne.
The final minutes of the half provided some end to end play and finally goalmouth incidents as, firstly, Meredith saw his shot deflected goalwards and a wrong-footed Cameron Gregory saved with his legs. Kettering broke straight away and Keaton Ward’s shot was saved by Hawkins. Then Gregory pulled off a fine save as Kelly-Evans got clear past Lewis White.
LEAMINGTON 0 - 0 KETTERING TOWN
There were no team changes at half time.
Usher-Shipway wasted a good early position for Leamington as his cross was poor and out of play. Sharpe’s first long throw of the half into the home six yard box saw no Kettering player challenging as the ball was cleared and George Cooper sustained a bloody nose in the process.
The Brakes threatened on 52 minutes as Gascoigne headed over his own bar, and from the corner, Gregory had to punch clear. The Poppies countered and Oluwabori crossed from the right for Sheriff, who finally controlled the ball in a decent position on the left and his shot was deflected away from goal for a corner, taken by Sharpe. His initial cross was cleared back to him and the cross come shot bounced off the top of the crossbar.
A few minutes later it was Leamington’s turn to rattle the woodwork as Simeon Maye hit the outside of the right post with a 25 yard screamer. Home leading scorer, Dan Turner, had had a quiet first hour but he began to come into the game as he pounced on a loose ball only to be denied by keeper, Gregory, as he smothered from close range.
Gregory then had an easy save from a low Turner right foot shot - but on 64 minutes the keeper saved brilliantly as Meredith’s cross was headed at goal by Jack Edwards- the keeper diving full length to his left.
Leamington were not to be denied though as they scored on 67 minutes. Edwards skillfully glanced a header to Usher- Shipway on the right and, with a numerical advantage of players, he slid the ball across the six yard box to give the unmarked Turner an easy finish.
Leamington appeared to want to shut out what, in the half, had been a largely impotent Kettering attack – and by and large they did so with relative ease. Andre Wright saw his 70th minute shot blocked out and Leamington had further chances with Usher- Shipway’s shot blocked and Turner failing to test Gregory with two half chances.
Kettering replaced their starting three forwards with their other three forwards off the bench to no avail though, despite laying siege to the home goal. Hawkins was well protected and had no saves to make.
LEAMINGTON 1 - 0 KETTERING TOWN
Match Officials: Referee: Liam Corbett;Assistants:Mark Billingham and Jack Shepherd
Attendance: 422 (Kettering fans estimated at 70 )
Poppies Media Elgoods Brewery Man of the Match: Cameron Gregory
Saturday 24th September: Kidderminster Harriers - kick off 3pm
Tuesday 27th September: Kings Lynn Town - kick off 7.45pm
Saturday 17th September: Barwell – Emirates FA Cup 2nd round qualifying
Match report posted by Sadman KTFC