Kettering 2-1 Worcester
League campaign off to a winning start.
Kettering Ladies XI kicked off their season with a well earned win under the guidance of new coach Jamie Dodd. The comradeship and team work was evident across the pitch with Kettering piling the pressure on the away side right from the start. They were unlucky to not go ahead in the first few minutes as player of the match Megan Forader's interception saw her drive into the circle and fire a shot narrowly past the left post. When the away side were in possession of the ball Kettering were able to quickly turn this over and were unfortunate to not go ahead. Frustratingly it was the home side that scored the first goal against the run of play as a 50/50 ball fell kindly to one of their players whose pace in a fast counter saw her drive into the circle and score past Nik Baker in goal. Kettering did not let this ruffle their feathers and continued to enforce their game plan and were rewarded with a penalty corner. The corner itself, whilst the simplest of routines, was sublime, with an accurate push out from Toni Hustwait, an excellent trap by captain Laura Beacon and a powerful shot by Jess Austin which passed through a number of players before they had time to react to put the away side deservedly level.
Before the stroke of half time Kettering put themselves ahead as a cross from Linzi Webster found Mally Dolphin in the circle. Her initial shot was deflected into the air by the goalkeeper only for Forader to strike the ball whilst in the air straight into the back of the net, earning her the champagne moment of the game too.
With a positive feeling Kettering continued to press in the second half and should have doubled their lead from a number of opportunities but couldn't quite find the target. This did not dampen their spirits though and as the game progressed it was clear that the home side were becoming deflated with the lack of space they had due to the pressure everyone applied to them across the pitch. A particular success was Kettering's press which rarely faltered and gave the team confidence each time it worked.
The game ended 1-2 but should have been higher so training will surely focus on putting the ball in the back of the net, but until then the ladies sit at 3rd in the table after their first game and should feel positive by today's outcome. A win and an excellent display of team work!
Kettering take on Rugby at home next weekend which should prove to be a tougher fixture due to their 5-1 win this weekend, but if Kettering continue as they started they will be a match for any opposition.