Ford inspires Poppies to another victory

Alan Doyle
Alan Doyle
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Kettering Town made it three Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division wins in a row with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Bedford Town at Steel Park.

Chris Logan and Joel Gyasi both scored their first goals for the club to give them a 2-0 half-time lead over the Eagles.

And Ben Ford, back at the club on loan from Nuneaton Town, capped a man-of-the-match display with a superb third after the break to wrap it up.

The Poppies proved to be a real handful in attack and were resilient at the back with Logan, in particular, catching the eye with an impressive display in front of the back four.

Kettering made a flying start on the sticky surface, which Corby Town had played on just 24 hours earlier.

Bedford did have the first sight of goal when Yannick Nlate deflected Will Green’s shot away for a corner but it was the in-form hosts who broke the deadlock inside the first five minutes.

Jamie Griffiths swung over a corner from the right, Lewis Wilson helped it on and Logan was on hand at the far post to finish it off.

Michael Built shot over for the Eagles as they looked for an immediate response but the Poppies could, and possibly should, have doubled their lead when Gyasi raced away and played in Wilson but Ian Brown was equal to the striker’s final effort.

The Eagles weren’t helped by the loss of striker Will Green to an injury and their misery continued as Brown had a moment to forget as the Poppies did make it 2-0 on 26 minutes.

Gyasi took aim from 20 yards and the shot was straight at the visiting goalkeeper who inexplicably spilled it into his own net.

The game settled after that but it was so nearly 3-0 on the stroke of half-time when Brown did brilliantly to tip the ball over the bar after Steve Kinniburgh lobbed it towards his own goal under pressure from Gyasi.

Bedford started the second period on the front foot but the Poppies defended well and restricted the visitors to mainly long range efforts.

And Kettering were unlucky not to grab one on the break when Gyasi played in Wilson. The striker’s shot beat Brown but held up in the muddy goalmouth and allowed a visiting defender to clear.

But the neither the mud nor Brown could do anything to stop the Poppies’ third goal when it arrived.

Nathan Hicks broke clear and he found Ford on the left. And the man who left Kettering in the summer marked his return on loan with a fierce strike that found the bottom corner.

Brown made a fine stop from Jamie Griffiths’ half-volley as the Poppies went looking for more but no further goals were needed.

The home defence stayed strong with the beastly Henry Eze leading the way to ensure a clean sheet.

It is still a long way to the safety line for Kettering.

But, despite the off-field issues still lurking in the background, Doyle and his troops look set to give it a good go in the remainder of the season.

Poppies: Nlate; Johnston, Crowie, Eze, Fox; Logan; Gyasi (sub Muzvimbiri, 61 mins), Hicks, Ford (sub King, 79 mins); Griffiths (sub Kelly, 90 mins), Wilson. Subs not used: Maddox, Glen.

Bedford: Brown; Cooper, Wilkinson, Grimes, Kinniburgh (sub Simpson, 73 mins); Built, Beech (sub Guiney, 73 mins), Libertucci, Bell; Green (sub Ivy, 22 mins), Pitharas.

Referee: Ian Rathbone.

Goals: Logan (5 mins, 1-0), Gyasi (26 mins, 2-0), Ford (60 mins, 3-0).

Booking: Grimes (foul).

Attendance: 456.