Wisbech 3s 4 - 2 Kettering 2s
Hold the champagne (for now at least...)
The league title will have to wait for at least one more week... Kettering travelled to Wisbech knowing it would be a very hard game. The reverse at Kettering was one of the harder games Kettering have had at their own ground, and Wisbech haven't lost at their own ground all year either!!
The game started with Kettering clearly below their usual standard. Passing wasn't as crisp as Kettering have come to expect, and close ball control seemed to be lacking. There was also a lack of movement off the ball, leaving the back four and pivot Adam Duell with little to no option for long periods of the game. Add to this a few decisions Kettering felt may have gone the other way on another day, and some very well worked play by a very strong Wisbech side, and Kettering looked like they were going to struggle. A couple of goals against coming from a clearly well rehearsed short corner routine, and Kettering may well have capitulated. To their credit though, Kettering started to string some play together, and gradually got themselves back into the game. This was proven after the best move of the first half saw the ball swiftly moved through from the back through the midfield and up to the forwards, where some great interplay from Ollie Smith and Ethan Smart led to Ethan dropping a perfect ball across the goal for Ben York to casually deflect the ball over the oncoming keeper. 2-1 at halftime and Kettering very much back in the game!!
Into the second half, and Kettering continued to press, and found some rhythm finally. A short corner injected by Ricky Payne to Adam Duell was stuck back towards the post where Payne's touch deflected the ball into the roof of the net. 2-2 and Kettering felt like they were finally on top. A third goal for Kettering at this point probably would have seen Wisbech heads drop, however, it was not to be, and another short corner goal broken the Kettering spirit. at 3-2, Kettering were still in the game, but it was clear that Wisbech were going to be given the benefit of the doubt on most 50-50 decisions (they still have promotion on their minds too!). The game was finally put beyond doubt when a short corner which looked to be going wide hit a Kettering defender on the thigh, and a flick was given. Despite keeper Matt Coe going the right way, the ball found the back of the net, and Kettering, despite applying a lot of pressure in the final 10 minutes, couldn't find the goal they needed to at least give them a chance.
Kettering must pick themselves up ready for the trip to St Ives next week. Nothing has changed for Kettering. Win the game to win the league!!