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KETTERING TOWN FC   Tuesday 12th August 2014   NORTHWOOD FC

Southern League Division One Central

  Kettering Town 5  Northwood 0  

Scorers: Ogbonna 2, 17, 31,
Gooding 41, Taylor 74

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Jamie McAlindon     1 Berkley Laurencin
2 James Clifton (75m)     2 Alex Nolan
3 Steve Kinniburgh     3 Mason Yorke (46m)
4 Andy Gooding (82m)     4 Nick Turner
5 Dan Crowie     5 Steve Brown (67m)
6 Tommy Hull     6 Jordan Lawal
7 Ross Oulton     7 Joakim Ehui
8 Brett Solkhon     8 George Nicholas
9 Dubi Ogbonna     9 Jack Smith (46m)
10 Josh Moreman (65m)     10 Dave Lawrence
11 Andy Hall     11 Omar Vassell
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Ash Robinson (82m)     12 James Duncan (67m)
14 Jonathan Thorpe (75m)     14 Andy Lomas (46m)
15 Jon Bukasa     15 Tommy Walsh (46m)
16 Alfie Taylor (65m)     16 Javonne Molloy
17 Nick Bennion     17 Sam Byfield
      Referee: Akil Howson; Assistants: Gary Lord & Aidan Murphy      
  REPORT by Alan Evans  




The Woods midweek trip to short-priced title-favourites Kettering Town showed a gulf of class between the two sides as the Poppies had the Woods on the back-foot from an early stage. Manager Mark Burgess made just one change from the team that had earned a point at Leighton Town at the weekend, with young striker Jack Smith replacing Javonne Molloy in the starting line-up with Molloy reverting to the bench.

Kettering were able to welcome back ex long-serving midfielder Brett Solkhon after re-joining following a successful spell with Brackley Town and dropping two levels to come back to his former club. He had been suspended for their opening game.

There were less than two minutes on the clock when Andy Gooding played a neat ball on to Dubi Ogbonna and the home striker cut in before powerfully cracking a shot across goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin to give Kettering a very early lead. The Woods tried to hit back immediately, with Smith slipping a ball into the box for Joakim Ehui to cross and when this was blocked the Referee pulled it back for a foul on Smith after he had knocked it forward. It meant a free-kick just outside the box and Dave Lawrence hit it well, forcing goalkeeper Jamie McAlindon to push the ball out but there was no one there to force home the rebound.

Unfortunately that was the last time Northwood threatened in the half, as Kettering attacked incessantly with direct running and sharp passing around the box. Josh Moreman, Jamie Clifton and Andy Hall all had efforts either wide or blocked before Laurencin made the first of many good saves to deny Ogbonna on nine minutes. A deflected cross from former Daventry midfielder Ross Oulton was pushed wide by the Woods keeper, who also did well to recover the loose ball and then a sweeping move involving Clifton, Moreman and Hall saw a cross almost pick out Ogbonna who was inches away from knocking in a second goal.

But Ogbonna didn’t have to wait too long to grab his second as he tried his luck with a low shot from the right side of the box and Nick Turner appeared to leave it before the ball crept past an unsighted Laurencin and inside the far post. Laurencin pushed a Gooding free-kick over the top on 22 minutes and then George Nicholas picked up the club’s first yellow card of the season when adjudged to have been careless with his feet when getting up after being fouled by Gooding.

It was only a brief respite, though, as the Poppies stormed forward again. Laurencin saved from Ogbonna but then the striker was given the opportunity of a hat-trick inside half an hour when Oulton was impeded in the box and Ogbonna converted the resulting penalty to make it 3-0. Still Kettering had their tails up, and Laurencin continued his part of preventing a rout with another good save from a 20-yard effort from Moreman but on 40 minutes a run from Hall resulted in a tumble on the left edge of the box and another penalty was the result; a somewhat soft decision by all accounts and the real killer as Gooding fired home from the spot.

Burgess went for more experience at half-time, replacing teenagers Smith and Mason Yorke with Tommy Walsh and recent signing Andy Lomas for the second period. It certainly steadied things, though Laurencin was soon in action again when he pounced on another low strike from Oulton on 50 minutes.

Though the Woods were coping better, there were hit by a real blow on 66 minutes as skipper and Player of the Year Steve Brown landed awkwardly and limped off with an ankle injury, being replaced by James Duncan. Northwood finally made a few inroads into their opponents half with Lawrence shooting over from distance on 71 minutes and then Alex Nolan getting forward and whipping in a great cross but there was no-one there to add the required touch.

Kettering were still not finished and after 74 minutes substitute Alfie Taylor hit the best goal of the game as a strong run saw him cut in from the left and let fly with a great strike that gave Laurencin no chance.
The Poppies had two later attempts on goal with Tommy Hull heading over at a corner while Hall flashed a late shot across goal and wide. But it was the Woods who went closest in the final stages. Nolan played a fine ball down the line to Ehui whose cross to the near post was met by a first-time strike from Omar Vassell but McAlindon reacted well and denied Northwood a consolation.

Northwood now move on to two tough home games in four days starting with Royston Town on Saturday before Rugby Town make a midweek visit next Tuesday night.