Wellingboorough travelled to Kettering to try and cement their position at the top of the table, the result did exactly the opposite.
In what was anticipated to be the promotion battle of the season, Wellingborough travelled to Kettering optimistic, but uncertain as they were missing a few regular players. As the first half got underway it was clear that this would be a tough game. From the off Kettering attacked with purpose, good movement and confidence probing the Wellingborough defence of Sam Young, Paul Smith, Andy Wade and Ryan Scott. Thankfully all four were up to the task and when Goalkeeper John Bishop was called into action he did so with a sense of authority, clearing the ball wide and making some excellent saves. Going forward wellingborough struggled to get anything going and with a Kettering side pressing hard, all too often the ball was turned over despite good runs from left and right wings, leaving midfielders Dave Langley, Jose Dos Santos Andy O'Rourke and Kai Te Kheng scrabbling back to help out the tiring defense. Although under immense preassure the Wellingborough centre back pairing of Paul Smith and Andy Wade soaked up this pressure; blocking shots, clearing the ball and leaving the Kettering forwards with little time or space to continue their attacks. A number of shots, crosses and short corners were bocked by Andy Wade and Ray Young, frustrating the kettering forwards and giving the Wellingborough side hope that they could scrape a victory if they just held on a little longer.
At the start of the second half this hope and determination seemed to make a difference and for the first 10 minutes Wellingborough looked on top, with some nice passing moves and again some excellent running from the wide midfielders. Despite this, Wellingborough were unable to break the Kettering defence with only a handful of nearly-chances created. As time wore on, the intensity of the game started to wear on Wellingbrough but with Ray Young stepping it up in the middle of the park, Wellingborough still looked relatively comfortable at the back. But as tiredness got the better of the Wellingborough side, some old habits began to show through, long searching passes to a high forward line, and a widening gap between the midfield and forward line meant Wellingborough were not keeping the ball long enough to prevent the onslaught of Kettering attacks. A somewhat lucky shot from Kettering beat a wrong-footed John Bishop to give Kettering their first goal. Down but not out, Wellingbourough began to fight back, again utilising their pace on the wings, and solid midfield play from Dave Langley and Ray Young gave Bradley Ferris enough time to find Matt Bicknell in the D, however rapidly closed down by the Kettering defence, 'Bickers' only chance of the game was sent wide and into the side of the goal.
With time and energy running out, Wellingborough had to press forward to recover the deficit. A long corner played back to Andy Wade and played into the D was intercepted and Kettering had a break; after 50 minutes of gruelling work, the tired legs of Wellingborough just barely made it back to help goalkeepr John Bishop to clear his line, but a bobbled ball and a couple of missed clearances saw the ball crawl across the line at a snails pace leaving wellingborough 2-0 down, A distraught Wade intelligently took himself off to calm down and regroup for the final 9 minutes of the game. The last minutes of the game were much of the same, and with Wellingborough already having given every bit of energy they had the result was inevitable, Kettering began to slow the game down and hold onto the ball to wear the clock down, and Wellingborough accepted their fate. Final Score 2-0 to Kettering.
Man of the Match, John Bishop,
DoD Andy 'Rage Quit' Wade
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