Kettering 2-4 Loughborough
Cup adventure halted by strong Loughborough outfit.
A large crowd witness a rare midweek fixture as Kettering hosted Loughborough 3rds in a rearranged Tier 3 EH Cup tie. Loughborough on the pitch looked significantly stronger than Loughborough on paper and so it proved as they bossed the early possession. Having not played or trained for two weeks due to the freeze Kettering looked a little short of match sharpness, their visitors having played on Saturday were straight up to match pace.
Kettering gave first team debuts to 15 yr old goalkeeper Matt Coe and 14 yr old James Hogg
and having survived the early pressure Kettering grew into the game. First blood however was drawn by the visitors when a reverse stick shot was fired in. This rallied Kettering who then had their best period of the first half and scored with a Ben Mills
short corner. Unfortunately the lead barely lasted a couple of minutes before a clever deflection restored the visitors advantage. Regrouping at half time Kettering continued to take the game to Loughborough but a lightning fast counter attack after Kettering turned over possession high up the pitch gave Loughborough a 3-1 lead. Not to be outdone Kettering kept coming back and,roared on by the biggest home crowd of the season, made it 3-2 when Andy Sellers
dispatched another short corner with seven to go. Kettering threw everything Into attack and were unsurprisingly caught out with the last play of the game as Loughborough easily converted a 3 on 1 to ease out 4-2 winners.
Kettering will take many positives out of the game, especially having had 7 under 18s in their line up, and will be please how the younger players performed against very strong opposition. The loss means Kettering can now completely focus on the league where they sit in second place in 3NW with a game in hand.