Records tumble as Poppies march on

The records tumbled as Kettering Town moved back up to third place in the Evo-Stik South League Premier with a 7-0 demolition of rock-bottom Gosport Borough last night (Tuesday).

Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 12:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 12:11 pm
Brett Solkhon tucks away the penalty that put Kettering Town 3-0 up in their 7-0 success at Gosport Borough last night. Pictures by Peter Short

Mathew Stevens, Brett Solkhon and Rene Howe all scored twice while Aaron O’Connor’s 37th goal of the season in all competitions wrapped up a comfortable victory.

The Poppies are now in control of their own destiny as far as the battle for home supremacy in the play-off semi-finals is concerned, although they face a huge test against fellow high-fliers Weymouth at Latimer Park tomorrow evening.

Paul White makes a save on his way to keeping a 19th clean sheet of the season

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But the win at Gosport was one to savour as it saw the Poppies move onto an incredible 111 goals in the league season, the club’s best return for finding the net in any campaign since they scored 122 in the Central Combination in the 1933-34 campaign.

And it was also a big night for goalkeeper Paul White who claimed a 19th clean sheet of the season, surpassing the previous best mark since 1979 set by Graham Benstead in 1993-94.

The games are coming thick and fast for Kettering and boss Marcus Law made six changes last night in a bid to keep his squad as fresh as possible.

And it all added up to a satisfying evening on the south coast.

Mathew Stevens celebrates one of his two goals at Gosport

The Poppies manager said: “It was an organised, professional and clinical performance. It was a job well done.

“To go through the 110-goal barrier for the league season and for Paul to set a clean sheet record, it made it an even better night for us so we are very happy.

“But now we have to make sure we recover for a big game tomorrow.

“We are managing the minutes of the players because of this busy period.

Paul White makes a save on his way to keeping a 19th clean sheet of the season

“There were a few lads who were a bit stiff after playing last Thursday and Saturday and we will have lads who will be feeling the effects after playing at the weekend and last night.

“So we are doing all we can to make sure we have players who as fresh as possible for each game.”

It wasn’t all good news for the Poppies last night as left-back Ben Toseland suffered an ankle injury, which will rule him out of tomorrow night’s clash.

Law added: “Ben was heavily strapped up after the game.

Mathew Stevens celebrates one of his two goals at Gosport

“It is a concern for us and we will be keeping a close eye on how it goes but he will definitely miss the game tomorrow.”