It's Sharpe to the rescue as Poppies claim last-gasp win at Berkhamsted
Boss Andy Leese’s exhale of breath on the final whistle said it all after his side dug deep to retake the lead deep into stoppage time, having earlier seen a 2-0 lead peg backed by a gutsy Berko side currently sitting in the relegation zone.
The win was only the Poppies' third of the season and their second in the space of five days, and sees them climb up to 17th in the table, four points above the drop zone.
It was the hosts who started the stronger and should have taken the lead before the half hour mark.
On 26 minutes Max MacAire should have done better with his header just six yards out with a huge target to aim for, but instead nodded over the bar.
Minutes later Sami Bessadi launched a ferocious shot 25 yards out that struck the cross bar - Billy Johnson was rooted on the Kettering goal line.
Having seen out a tricky period, Kettering took the lead through unusual circumstances.
Dan Jarvis on the right hand side travelled forward before launching a looping cross into the Berko box.
Keeper Jamie Head got a strong hand to it but it wasn’t enough to stop the ball fall behind him and into the back of the net.
On the stroke of half-time Kettering doubled the lead with possibly their best set-piece move of the season.
Sharpe delivered the perfect in swinging corner right into the path of Kelvin Langmead who lost his man and placed a bullet header into the left of the goal.
But any complacent feelings of job done were quickly forgotten just three minutes after the restart.
Substitute Lewis Johnson received the ball wide of the penalty area before sliding it past Johnson from a tight angle.
Kettering were well and truly under the pump for the majority of the second half and were barely containing the Comrades advances as Connor
Toomey nodded over and former AFC Rushden & Diamonds defender Luke Massingham forced a fine save from Johnson on 78 minutes.
The inevitable equaliser came via the penalty spot on 84 minutes.
Harry Riley was adjudged to have upended a Berkhamstead player inside the area, although to most in the ground it looked very soft decision.
Toomey took the responsibility of taking the spot kick but Johnson saved well to his left and appeared to be injured in the resulting melee - he was lying on the ground when Bessadi finally scrambled the ball into goal.
Frustrated Poppies fans showed their disapproval at having to face a grandstand finish for the final period of the game.
But it turned to joyous scenes three minutes into time added on when a free kick was awarded just yards outside of the area.
Sharpe stepped up and his deflected effort wrong-footed Head to spark relieved celebrations and give Kettering their first back to back away wins since 2018.
Starman: Kelvin LangmeadAttendance: 338