Frustration for Kettering Town boss Cox after midweek loss

The Poppies were beaten at third-placed Chorley in the Vanarama National League North

By Jon Dunham
Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 10:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 10:46 am
Gerry McDonagh challenges for the ball during Kettering Town's 3-1 defeat at Chorley. Pictures by Peter Short
Gerry McDonagh challenges for the ball during Kettering Town's 3-1 defeat at Chorley. Pictures by Peter Short

Paul Cox was left more frustrated than disappointed after Kettering Town suffered a 3-1 defeat at high-flying Chorley last night (Tuesday).

The Poppies made the long trip north on the back of a 4-0 home success over Blyth Spartans at the weekend.

But they fell behind at Victory Park when a mistake from goalkeeper Rhys Davies allowed Connor Hall to nod home.

Connor Hall seized on a mistake by Kettering goalkeeper Rhys Davies to give Chorley the lead

Davies made a fine save to deny Hall while Chris Smith’s effort was kept out by a fine stop from Matt Urwin at the other end before the Poppies conceded a penalty, which was duly converted by Hall to give the hosts 2-0 lead at the break.

Kettering did pull a goal back with 10 minutes to go thanks to Callum Powell’s 20-yard effort but the home side wrapped up the points on the counter-attack through Will Tomlinson.

“We have travelled the length of the country and we have come up against probably the in-form team in the league who have got a really good blueprint and a lot of experience in their side,” Poppies manager Cox said.

“But the good thing, and probably the most frustrating thing, is that we are going toe-to-toe with these clubs and we aren’t looking out of place against teams in the top three places.

Rhys Davies is beaten by Connor Hall's penalty, which put Chorley 2-0 up

“The difference between the two teams was that they were a bit more savvy in both boxes and that is something that we are really trying to address on a day-to-day basis. We will continue to keep working hard on it.

“The fans who went up there will realise that we have played some good stuff, we’ve worked really hard and we have tried to win the game.

“But sometimes our youthfulness leaves us a little bit vulnerable.

“I thought we had a decent grip on the game early on but what turned things was Rhys Davies making a mistake and dropping a cross.

“He is going to be a very good goalkeeper and he is going to make mistakes like this.

“But he dropped a basic cross and then we gave away a sloppy penalty and we were then open to be counter-attacked and that’s what happened after we’d scored our goal to get back into it.

“We’ve had big chances ourselves but, to sum it up, the ruthlessness in both boxes was the difference.

“I thought we were the better team in the second half and we haven’t done a lot wrong apart from at the business ends, those being both boxes.

“I think we are making goalscoring opportunities but we aren’t making them into a goal.

“People might smile at that after we scored four on Saturday but we should have scored more. The goal we scored at Chorley was probably the hardest chance we had all night.”

The Poppies face another tough away game at the weekend when they head to York City.