Steep learning curve for Men's 3rd XI
Baptism of fire against opposition from the league above
An inexperienced Kettering team comprising a mixture of 3rds and 4ths took on local rivals Wellingborough, who will be playing in the league above in the forthcoming season. The match looked tough on paper, and so it transpired.
As it was a friendly, the match was played in thirds. In the opening period, Kettering were caught cold by a well-drilled opposition. Before they knew it, the home side were three goals to the good courtesy of a penalty-flick and two short corners.
The Kettering squad included new players Shaun Curtis, Ben Mayes and Gavin Ferries. It was the first match back for all the Kettering players and they were not prepared for the tsunami of attacking play from Wellingborough.
Three more goals followed as the home side pressed home their advantage.
Following the break, Kettering had a chance to re-organise and started to compete much better. A goal was conceded before the heavens opened and a torrential thunderstorm ensued. The players took shelter from the biblical weather and resumed ten minutes later.
The match culminated with a standard 35 minute period of hockey and Kettering continued to improve. The players shook off their initial rustiness and started to play and communicate like a team.
Although Wellingborough scored two more goals, Kettering had two good opportunities from their well-rehearsed short corner routine. One shot was well saved and another found the back of the net, only to be ruled out by the umpire. Adam Mills was a threat down the left and put across a number of dangerous crosses and Dan Carter looked menacing on the break.
Next week, Kettering travel to Market Harborough looking to continue their build up to the start of the league season.