Heart breaking end to a brave Marketmen performance.
By Paul Munn
Injury time strike by the league leaders sinks the Marketmen
The Marketmen on the back of their midweek win were looking to try and add another scalp of one of the league’s top teams, with Kettering looking to keep in font in the title race. The Marketmen were without the suspended Keiran Morphew and Adam Mills started on the bench due to not feeling 100%. This meant a start for Jamie Griffiths upfront.
It was the hosts started the match the strongest and fashioned some good early chances. Dan Holman and Ben Milnes linked up to provide Lindon Meikle a chance, which he put wide. Moments later Dan Holman cut inside and let fly, but his aim was not quite set with the ball sailing over. However, it was their skipper Michael Riches who had the best chance with his shot forcing a good save from Jake Jessup.
As for the Marketmen, it was a slow start early on in the attacking department, with only a couple of minor opportunities. A speculative effort from Joseph Marsden sailed over and the same player had an effort blocked.
Kettering kept the pressure up and went close with a Dan Holman effort going just wide. Couple of minutes later, they looked as though they would take the lead. In the seventeenth minute when they put in a cross from the left and were awarded a penalty after the referee had decided that the cross was blocked by a hand. Dan Holman stepped up and struck it well but he managed to put it wide.
This seemed to take the wind out of their sails for a short time allowing the Marketmen to try to build some chances of their own. They did manage to create one good chance, which came from Luke Ingram whose shot forced a good save from the impressive Paul White.
However, having gone close moments earlier, with an Aaron O’Connor chance, Kettering did take their chance in the 25th minute, when Adam Cunnington out right played the ball across the area where Aaron O’Connor slid the ball home at the far post. 1-0 KTFC
Little by little the Marketmen got themselves back into the game. Jake Dye produced a couple of good runs with one leading to a chance for Jamie Griffiths, who made room for a shot, but again the host’s keeper came to the rescue with another fine save to deny him. Soon afterwards Samuel Squire and Joseph Marsden linked up to produce an effort for the later which had to be put behind by the home defence.
On the stroke of half time a Reece Dobson pass found Jamie Griffiths, who in turn played it to Joseph Marsden. Sensing he may have a chance he cut in from the left found room and fired a fierce shot. It passed the keeper and into the far top corner to level the scores. 1-1.
Half Time: Kettering Town 1 vs Needham Market 1
Just after the break the Marketmen suffered a slight setback when they lost Callum Sturgess through injury. Adam Mills came off the bench to replace him.
Kettering had the first chance of the half when Aaron O’Connor went close following a corner and then shortly afterwards Jake Jessup had to make another fine save from a fierce shot.
The Marketmen responded well and saw Luke Ingram go close with an effort that went just wide and minutes later saw Adam Mills go even closer, when he latched onto a ball from Samuel Squire and struck a firm shot towards goal, only for it to crash back of the post.
In between the Marketmen chances, Kettering made the first change of the afternoon with recently signed Adam Cunnington making way for Rhys Hoenes and followed up with a second change, five minutes later, with Dion Kelly-Evans replacing Gary Stohrer.
The Kettering substitute, Rhys Hoenes got himself into the action by getting on the end of a move and sending an effort just over the top. Moments later Kettering produced another chance which fell to Dan Holman, whose effort forced Jake Jessup to parry it away for a corner.
The Marketmen then made a second change with Jeremiah Kamanzi come on for Reece Dobson.
With the game into its final 20 minutes Kettering came forward once more. Build up down the left Aaron O’Connor latched onto a ball on the left, he took it on trying to beat of the Marketmen defender’s and when he was just inside the area he took his opportunity well to slide it nicely passed Jake Jessup to regain the lead. 2-1.
The Marketmen fought back well and eight minutes Samuel Squire played a nice ball into substitute Jeremiah Kamanzi, as he went to control it he went over in the box as the defender tried to challenge. The referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Joseph Marsden and it was the usual outcome for the Marketmen fans, as he struck it well and the ball nestled in the bottom corner. 2-2.
Kettering increased the pressure to try to push for the win. Marcus Kelly sent a dangerous ball in which was blocked, although a Kettering player did go down in the box sparking a penalty claim, but was quickly dismissed by the referee. Moments later Lindon Meikle received the ball and had a shot, which sailed over the bar.
It looked as though that would be that with both sharing the spoils, unfortunately for the Marketmen Lindon Meikle had other ideas. With three of the five minutes added already up, Lindon ran at the Marketmen’s defence he got into the area and took it past the defender giving himself room for the shot, which was struck with force, passed the keeper and into the roof of the net to snatch the victory, to the delight of the home fans and to the despair of the Marketmen’s. 3-2 KTFC.
The Marketmen couldn’t manage to find the equaliser in the short time remaining and it ended in disappointment for the brave Marketmen.
A great battling performance from the Marketmen, so close. A lot of positives can be taken from that and despite this we are still only a couple of points away from the play-off berths.
Full Time: Kettering Town 3 vs Needham Market 2
Kettering Town: White, Stohrer (Kelly-Evans 63), Riches, Meikle, O’Connor (Solkhon 75), Holman, Milnes, Kelly, Rowe-Turner, Stanley, Cunnington (Hoenes 59)
Needham Market: Jessup, Dye, Sturgess (Mills 49), Squire, Baker, Morphew (D), Ingram, Heath, Griffiths, Dobson (Kamanzi 68), Marsden