Cusk double secures great comeback for Men's 3rd XI
Kettering come back from 3-1 down to win 4-3
In horrible wintry conditions, Kettering entertained Cambridge Nomads 3rds. The home side started very brightly and quickly earned a short corner after good play by Paul Brooker. The shot from the top of the circle was deflected via a foot but advantage was played and Wallace Cairns reacted very sharply. He took one touch to control the ball and then another to neatly slot home with his reverse stick. Kettering continued to dominate and should have doubled their lead after great work from Andy Bull released Cairns, however the youngster's shot crept agonisingly wide.
With their first attack, Nomads fired a long ball into the Kettering circle and their centre-forward was delighted and surprised to find himself unmarked at the back post. His deflected shot gave keeper Ray Norwood no chance.
Kettering forced a number of short corners but the Nomads defence was able to keep out efforts from Neil Manley and Nick Cusk. Paul Brooker had a gilt-edged chance but the keeper smothered his effort. Andy Bull also came extremely close to pulling a goal back but his deflected shot rebounded off a post.
To compound their misery, Kettering conceded another goal, this time from a short corner. The shot was not particularly powerful but there was a big gap in the home defence and the ball went into the corner. Whilst still contemplating this reverse, the home defence let in another. A looping cross into the circle took the Kettering defenders by surprise and Cambridge were able to score their third.
At half-time, Kettering were not down-hearted because they knew they were playing well and the scoreline flattered their visitors. In the second period, Kettering continued to push forward. Youngsters Dan Carter and Josh Cox once again proved that they deserved their call-up from the 4th team. Tom Storey kept his composure and knocked the ball around confidently in central midfield. Gavin Ferries, another player promoted from the 4th XI, did a sterling job keeping the Nomads attack at bay despite at times being under significant pressure.
After 15 minutes, Kettering got the goal their play deserved. From a short corner, Nick Cusk dribbled left, moving the keeper out of position before calmly firing home with a reverse-stick shot. The home side has their tails up and Cairns was unlucky when his powerful shot on the turn was saved. Fantastic play from Cairns set up his strike partner Bull, but mystifyingly, he put the ball wide. Not long afterwards Bull made amends with a powerful shot from a loose ball in the circle. With five minutes to go, Kettering took the lead via the Cusk family. Dominik Cusk pushed the ball out to his dad Nick from a short corner and the pass was returned. When Dominik's shot was saved, Cusk senior was on hand to tuck the ball away.
Nomads tried to push forward for an equaliser but their attacks were comfortably dealt with and Kettering held on to seal the three points. Kettering have a week off and then return for their penultimate match of the season versus the 4th team on 24 Feb.
Cambridge Nomads excellent match report can be found HERE