PRE-SEASON - Poppies get a boost on Howe and seal a win as Steelmen are well beaten

Aaron O'Connor grabbed Kettering Town's third goal in their 3-0 friendly success at Spalding United
Aaron O'Connor grabbed Kettering Town's third goal in their 3-0 friendly success at Spalding United

Kettering Town enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 success at Spalding United in their penultimate pre-season friendly of the summer.

The Poppies confirmed some good news during the match as it was revealed Rene Howe was missing the game to serve a one-friendly ban, which was his punishment for receiving a red card in the 3-0 defeat to Barwell last week.

It means the key frontman will be available for the big kick-off in the Evo-Stik South League Premier at Slough Town a week on Saturday.

As far as their friendly in Lincolnshire was concerned, the Poppies were 2-0 up at half-time with a, so far, unnamed trialist opening the scoring before a home defender turned Liam Bateman’s cross into his own net.

And Aaron O’Connor completed the scoring soon after coming on as a substitute when he smashed home after a free-kick had been saved.

Kettering round off their pre-season campaign at Rushall Olympic on Saturday (3pm).

Corby Town were brought back down to earth following their win over the #NonLeagueChallenge Legends as they suffered a 5-2 defeat to a Northampton Town XI at Steel Park.

The Steelmen fell behind when Joe Iaciofano, who had a successful loan spell at Steel Park last season, opened the scoring for the Cobblers.

Corby levelled through Conor Marshall as the summer signing flicked the ball home at the far post.

But the visitors were 3-1 up at the break thanks to further efforts from Lewis Irwin and Leon Lobjoit.

Aaron Phillips finished off a swift counter-attack and Lobjoit grabbed his second to make it 5-1 but it was left to Jordon Crawford to complete the scoring late on when he beat a man before smashing the ball home.

David Bell’s men finish their pre-season with another home game against AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Friday night (7.45pm).