Hat trick by Paris inspires 4s
Good form continues with a confident all round display.
Kettering 4's welcomed St Neots 5 for the Bishop pitch for the return fixture of the season. The previous meeting yielded a 3-1 win for St Neots but that match was one of the highlights for Kettering in the early matches and were determined to improve the scoreline to match the performance. There were a number of changes to the Kettering team, Hal returned from a couple of games with the 3s and Jacob Tattersall dropped down to lend a hand because he couldn't play the later push back in Cambridge. Another change was that Tim McDowell reported for duty brandishing a new stick hoping that it would turn his missed chances in the previous match into goals.
St Neots came to Kettering with just eleven players with several dropping down from their 3's to double up in the later game against our seconds. So the home team were expecting a hard game to start but hoped to capitalise when they tired. But this didn't come to pass.
St Neots pushed back and were immediately put under pressure by the home side pressing the team deep and trying to disrupt their play, stop them passing and getting into a rhythm. The tactic proved successful with the ball being stolen and then some simple effective hockey ensued passing the ball wide and attacking down the wings.
This pattern of play continued, and showed the continued improvement within the 4's team. all players are now stepping up and taking responsibility to be effective instead of relying on one or two more experienced players to set the tempo. Jacob was showing the experience he has gained by playing for the 3's and the occasional outing for the seconds by putting in a man match performance. He was instrumental in linking play between defence and attack and moving the ball around left and right. He also broke from midfield with pace which caught the opposition midfield and defence napping.
St Neots were only able to mount a couple of attacks on the break which the experienced home defence where able to deal with. Only a couple of long range shots and a single short corner were conceded in the first half.
The first goal for the home team was the result of a short corner which was only half cleared by the defence. It was picked up to the left of the "D" and a delayed pass to the right found Tim McDowell in a good amount of space. Using his new stick confidently fired the ball home past a sprawling keeper. Five minutes later the second goal fell to Lee Paris to continue his scoring streak of 4 goals in 4 games.
Buoyed by their performance of the half so far, and now finding themselves being 2-0 up in a game for the first time this season, Kettering continued to push forward in search of more goals. St Neots were also becoming more frustrated in their play and couldn't clear their lines effectively to find the ball being brought back quickly. Another attack found Gavin Ferries in some space in the D for him to see the ball just miss to the left. But in the next attack a cross from the left was looped into the air to find Ben Mayes on the right who knocked it down into the goal.
St Neots at this point, were showing signs of fatigue and with 2 minutes to half time one of their experienced 3rd team players went down with a hamstring injury and was not able to continue leaving them down to 10 men.
In the second, St Neots rallied to cause Kettering some problems. But eventually the additional man began to tell and Lee Paris was finding more space against the reduced away defence. He made several attacks after receiving the ball from the midfield. Beating the players on numerous occasions. On one of these attacks. He fired a reverse stick shot from the top of the area through the legs of the opposition keeper.
All of the midfielders from Kettering were finding a touch more space to move the ball around with some ease and with good effect. With chances being created for numerous players to go close. Eventually, Lee Paris scored to complete his hat trick. Being 5-0 up, a few changes in personnel and positions caused Kettering's play become less effective. This saw St Neots score a consolation goal with the ball being struck through a massed defence. This took the gloss off of an otherwise excellent display.
Next week, Kettering have an early away match against mid table St Ives 4's hoping for a much improved result from their previous meeting.
This is what St Neots thought. Click HERE