Smart leads the way with hat-trick as Kettering 3rd XI earn emphatic win
Accomplished team performance as St Ives are put to the sword
Kettering 3rd XI continued their ascent towards the top of the league with a ruthless 10-0 win over St Ives 5.
Five players were brought in from the previous week but the club has strength in depth these days and ominously for the opposition, the team was even stronger as a result.
Kettering set out to dominate from the outset and the team put the plan into action. A shot from promising forward Wallace Cairns was deflected by Ethan Smart but the ball rolled narrowly wide of the post. The home side did not have to wait long for the breakthrough as Ben York scored from a short-corner routine. Smart then made amends when he finished off a move that featured good work down the right flank from Geoff Elliott.
Kettering were moving the ball about too quickly and efficiently for their opponents and a typical flowing move resulted in a cross from the right wing by midfielder Tom Storey. Smart darted in at the near post for a reverse-stick finish that increased the winning margin to three.
The Kettering defenders were also keen to get involved in the action and a shot from Tom Ward was illegally blocked on the line. Captain Neil Manley converted the penalty flick to make it 4-0 at the interval.
At half-time, Kettering agreed that they would try and repeat their dominant performance in the second half. Initially, St Ives resisted and their keeper thwarted the home attack on numerous occasions. After about fifteen minutes, the breakthrough came. Manley drove forward, played a one-two with Elliott, and then lifted his shot past the diving St Ives goalkeeper.
From this point onwards, Kettering asserted their superior teamwork and fitness and moved up into top gear. Cairns got the goal his tenacious play deserved, Jacob Tattersall drove forward from centre-midfield and scored with a powerful shot and defender Phil Coward finished with an unstoppable shot after his driving run into the circle.
There was still time for Manley to complete his hat-trick with a mis-hit shot that left the keeper wrong-footed. Not to be outdone, centre-forward Smart also got his third of the match when he rounded off another flowing team move from the home team.
Next week, Kettering face a tricky match away to Ely City 2nd XI.
St Ives version of events