St Neots 4s 0 - 4 Kettering 2s
Kettering back on top
Kettering travelled to St Neots after a week off, having had to postpone last weeks game due to a frozen pitch. Due to absences and injury, along with the club policy to promote the development of younger players, Kettering took with them two 3rd team youngsters so they could get a feel for 2nd team hockey. Tom Storey and Ben York, both of whom slotted in well with the team, and didn't look out of place at all.
From the start Kettering looked to press hard, and wanted to get on the scoreboard early. Only some very unlucky final touches and some solid St Neots defence stopped this from happening, but Kettering still showed (at times) the style of hockey that has seen them score more goals than any other team in the division so far this season.
The pressure was always going to tell eventually, and an excellent long ball from Graham Smart to young Ethan Smart completely opened up St Neots. Ethans touch through to top goal scorer George York bypassed the last defender, leaving George to slide the ball across the goal keeper for Ollie Smith (just back from a Christmas wedding in Australia - congratulations to Ollie!!) to put the ball into the back of the net.
This is how the game stayed until the second half, when a tiring St Neots defence started to leave a few gaps. Another great ball through the defence saw Ethan Smart take the ball past the St Neots goalie with his first touch, allowing him to put the ball into an open goal.
A third soon followed with Jason Clarke collecting the ball just inside the 'D' in space and hitting a well placed shot into the corner. And Kettering somewhat fortunately got a 4th to put some gloss on the display after a misinjected short corner was picked up by Adam Duell, who took the ball out of the 'D' and back in before hitting a shot which after a couple of deflections on St Neots defenders crossed the line.
The game finished 4-0, although on another day this could (and perhaps should) have been more. Kettering will need to improve for next weeks game against St Neots 3rd team, who managed to win the reverse fixture earlier in the season