Poppies crash to first defeat of the season

Joint-managers Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin saw their Kettering Town side slip to a first defeat of the season at Leighton Town
Joint-managers Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin saw their Kettering Town side slip to a first defeat of the season at Leighton Town

Kettering Town were handed a wake-up call as their 100 per cent start to the Southern League Division One Central was ended by a 3-1 defeat at Leighton Town.

The Poppies were forced into one change from the side that won 3-0 at Egham Town at the weekend with Nick Bennion making his debut in goal as Jamie McAlindon didn’t recover from a cut lip, which required stitches after the victory on Saturday.

Kettering had to begin the game in Leighton’s away kit as their own strip didn’t arrive on time but they started brightly with Dubi Ogbonna sending a half-volley over the bar before Andy Hall saw his head hit the top of the crossbar.

But it was the unbeaten hosts who took the lead in the first half when James Clifton brought down Philip Draycott in the penalty area. Danny Watson stepped up to squeeze the ball under Bennion from 12 yards.

There were further scares before the break as Bennion’s poor throw fell to Draycott. He cut in and shot, the Poppies stopper saved it but it fell to Tyrone Taylor who could only fire over.

Draycott was off target just before half-time but he played a key role again as the hosts grabbed their second soon after the restart.

His long range effort was saved by Bennion but he could only push it to Watson who tapped home.

Jamie Nicholls rattled the crossbar soon after but he did finish the Poppies off when he grabbed Leighton’s third from close range.

Brett Solkhon saw a header saved by home goalkeeper Dan Child while Bennion pushed a Draycott effort round the post at the other end.

Kettering did grab a consolation with 13 minutes to go when Josh Moreman played the ball into Hall and he took it in his stride before finding the bottom corner.

But that was all the Poppies could muster and they will be looking to bounce back with a double-header of home games over the bank holiday weekend against North Greenford United and Daventry Town.

Kettering, meanwhile, will make the short trip across Northamptonshire to take on Cogenhoe United in the preliminary round of the FA Cup a week on Saturday after the Cooks beat Wembley 3-1 in their extra preliminary round replay.

Poppies: Bennion, Clifton, Crowie, Hull, Kinniburgh; Oulton, Solkhon, Gooding, Hall; Ogbonna, Moreman. Subs Thorpe, Taylor, Bukasa, Robinson, Marsh.

Attendance: 239.