Table-topping Poppies bounce back with a win

Kettering Town joint-managers Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin
Kettering Town joint-managers Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin

Kettering Town returned to winning ways to stay on top of the Southern League Division One Central with a 2-1 success at Beaconsfield SYCOB.

First-half goals from Dubi Ogbonna and Alfie Taylor proved to be enough for the Poppies, although they conceded a goal after the break to make it slightly more nervy.

Joint-bosses Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin rang the changes following the home defeat to Chalfont St Peter in the FA Cup.

Lewis Wilson was handed a starting role on the right side of the midfield after rejoining the Poppies on loan from Oxford City while Taylor was given the nod alongside Ogbonna in attack.

With Tommy Hull unavailable, Ash Robinson came into the team at right-back with James Clifton switching to the heart of the defence alongside Jason Lee.

Having re-signed for Kettering on Friday, James Jepson started on the bench alongside youngster Niall Duffy.

The Poppies made the perfect start as Ogbonna capitalised on a mistake in the home defence before rounding the goalkeeper to score.

And it was 2-0 when Taylor slotted home from Andy Gooding’s pass to put Kettering in total control.

Brett Solkhon headed wide before the break while Duffy came on for his league debut soon after half-time replace Ogbonna.

And the youngster forced the home goalkeeper into a save before Beaconsfield got themselves back into the game when they pulled a goal back after a quick breakaway.

The Poppies responded to that with Taylor dragging a shot wide while Wilson was denied when he collided with the Beaconsfield goalkeeper after some neat play.

Jamie McAlindon was forced into a good save at the other end to preserve the visitors’ lead while Duffy headed Andy Hall’s cross over the bar.

Hall was off target after being set up by Duffy while Gooding and Wilson were denied by the home stopper as the Poppies searched for a third goal.

But they didn’t need another goal as they saw the game out to ensure they remained at the summit ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Bedford Town.

Poppies: McAlindon; Robinson, Clifton, Lee, Kinniburgh; Wilson, Solkhon, Gooding, Hall; Ogbonna, Taylor. Subs: Liburd, Duffy, Jepson, Bukasa, Moreman.