Five-star showing from Poppies
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: