Kettering Glad of a Point
Under difficult conditions Kettering came back to earn their point.
This weekend saw Kettering Ladies XI make the journey to Solihull. With a number of players unavailable it was a welcome return to Kate Metcalfe and Harriet Goswell as well as a season debut for Michelle Tanser, to enable the side to have their 11 players. In the knowledge that there was going to be no opportunity for rest and a gale force wind to contest with the ladies were eager to take something from this game.
Both sides started fairly equally although Kettering were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty corner in the first few minutes due to foot in the circle which was not picked up be the umpire. Kettering continued to try to work their game plan using player of the match Linzi Webster as an effective pivot to transfer the ball from left to right. If not for a perfectly positioned Jess Austin on the goal line Solihull may well have taken the lead earlier. Both sides were working exceptionally hard given the conditions but it was Solihull that finally took the lead due to a communication error allowing a free player to receive the ball and score from just inside the circle. Heads went down and Solihull pressed forward a few more times before the half time break.
The second half continued to be fairly evenly matched and Kettering stood fast in defence having to face a number of defending short corners, where Webster’s speed out of the goal was pivotal in the break down of their routines, alongside a great reflex save from Metcalfe and some strong post defending by Austin. Megan Forader on the right wing drove into the attacking circle a number of times but couldn’t quite find that final pass to set up a much needed goal, whilst Goswell worked tirelessly defending from the front on the left to break down their attacks. With time running out Kettering were conscious they needed to take something from the game and started to play higher up the pitch. This nearly caught the side out a few times but timely tackles from Cath Irvin and Emma Findlay ensured attacks were nullified.
Eventually Kettering won a penalty corner when Irvin was tackled a bit too harshly in the attacking 25. This was the away sides first corner of the game. Toni Hustwait injected for Mally Dolphin to trap and Austin to strike. The initial shot was saved but fell to Webster who reverse hit the ball that took a deflection off one of the defenders feet to find its way into the goal. The away side were ecstatic and felt they deserved to take something from the game today, making the journey there without their full squad worthwhile.