Stourport 6-1 Kettering
Stourport too strong on the day,
After a long break over winter Kettering looked to shake of the cobwebs, and the mince pies with a long trip to Stourport this weekend. With a number of regular players missing it provided an opportunity for some of the promising youngsters of the club to make their first team debut. The team welcomed youngsters Imogen Smith, Sophie Richardson, and Harriet Drake-Lee, and goalkeeper Hayleigh King, who all showed excellent potential for the future of the team. However, it wasn't an easy debut and challenged the whole side in their first friendly fixture of the year.
With Stourport playing is a league above and having the advantage of being the home side, so with players available, they took full advantage of this putting Kettering under pressure from the start. Slick passing and quick decision making proved to be a challenge for the away side and they soon found themselves a goal behind in the first few minutes of the game. A second soon followed and a third came as a penalty flick was awarded to the home side. Kettering did manage to find a foothold in the game and as the organisation of players gradually improved they found they were able to create some good opportunities, one of which came from a penalty corner. Charlie Fowle's straight strike from the corner took a deflection and found the back of the net to give Kettering a lifeline in the game.
After the half time break, Kettering changed their formation to strengthen the middle of the pitch which enabled player of the match Laura Beacon to gain possession of the ball and distribute from the centre. Kettering seemed to be building some momentum in the game and had chances in the opposition half to perhaps take a few more goals from the game. The defence stood firm and were able to deal with the waves of attack from the home side, but as fatigue started to set in Stourport continued to press. Another three goals came in quick succession for the home side which was disappointing for Kettering having had earlier opportunities.
Despite the loss, the important thing to remember is that this was only a friendly and we were able to hold our own against this tough opposition; sometimes there will be teams that are just better than you on the day, and that was the story of this game.