Five-star show­ing from Pop­pies

The Non-League Football Paper - - EVO-STIK LEAGUE SOUTH - By Peter Short

KET­TER­ING em­phat­i­cally in­creased their lead in the Evo-Stik South­ern League Premier Divi­sion with a com­pre­hen­sive de­mo­li­tion of vis­i­tors Merthyr.

They pro­duced a daz­zling per­for­mance and could have won by even more goals as they dom­i­nated the game from start to fin­ish and played very well.

The Pop­pies were well worth their five-goal score­line and po­ten­tially de­served more with the bizarre sight of a near-empty away dugout with eight min­utes to go af­ter the Merthyr man­age­ment had sent all play­ing staff back to the chang­ing room!

They will have been sure to re­ceive a wel­come when the play­ers re­turned af­ter an un­for­tu­nate maul­ing.

Marshall Wil­lock, newly ar­rived on loan from Ch­ester­field, threat­ened to make a per­fect de­but for Ket­ter­ing with a pow­er­ful header well saved by keeper Oliver Davies. But that was a rare pos­i­tive for the keeper as a glut of goals soon went by him.

A beau­ti­fully floated free­kick from Ben Toes­land found the head of Matthew Stevens to open the scor­ing on 22 min­utes.

His and Ket­ter­ing’s sec­ond was a touch for­tu­itous when a Ben Milnes ef­fort from out­side the area, which wasn’t goal­bound, was flicked on by the heel of a sur­prised Stevens on 43 min­utes.

The sec­ond half proved worse for the vis­i­tors when on 64 min­utes Stevens turned provider, slid­ing the ball on to Aaron O’Con­nor, who lifted it over the Merthyr keeper and fired home.

Sub­sti­tute Gary Stohrer made it four, again round­ing the keeper be­fore plac­ing the ball over the line from a very tight an­gle on 80 min­utes.

Eliot Richards was the un­lucky player three min­utes later, when a low Toes­land free-kick struck him and sent the net bulging for the fifth time.

STAR MAN: Matthew Stevens (Ket­ter­ing) EN­TER­TAIN­MENT:

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