Alfie the hero as Poppies take the derby honours

Poppies joint-bosses Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin
Poppies joint-bosses Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin

Alfie Taylor was the hero for Kettering Town as his late goal settled the Northamptonshire derby at Latimer Park as the Poppies edged out Daventry Town 1-0.

The former AFC Rushden & Diamonds man came off the substitute to hit the winner as his deflected free-kick on 82 minutes proved decisive to make it five wins from six Southern League Division One Central matches so far this season.

Joint-bosses Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin made one change to the line-up after Saturday’s 3-1 win over North Greenford United.

Striker Dubi Ogbonna, who stormed off the pitch at the end of that game after he was substituted following an incident which saw him wanting to take the penalty that Andy Gooding scored, was left out of the 16-man squad.

And that meant Ross Oulton was handed a start against the club he left to join Kettering during the summer.

The opening exchanges were fairly even, although Kettering did threaten when James Clifton’s header from an Andy Gooding’s corner was only patted down by Daventry goalkeeper Ben Heath and the Poppies couldn’t convert from the ensuing scramble.

But a clear chance fell to the visitors when Kieran Fitzgerald was clear only goal but sent his shot wide of the post.

The Poppies responded before the break as Josh Moreman teed up Brett Solkhon, whose 25-yard strike flew just wide.

Kettering created a good chance when Jonathon Thorpe sent a low cross in from the right but it rolled over Andy Hall’s foot at the crucial moment.

Hall saw a shot pushed away by Heath after he skipped past a couple of defenders but the breakthrough arrived with eight minutes to go.

Taylor had only been on a few minutes when he stepped up to a free-kick. It deflected off the wall and left Heath wrong-footed.

And that proved to be enough as the Poppies saw the game out to make it two wins from two over the bank holiday weekend.

Poppies: McAlindon; Clifton, Eze, Hull, Kinniburgh; Thorpe, Solkhon, Oulton, Gooding, Hall; Moreman. Subs: Taylor, Liburd, Bukasa, Robinson, Hamilton.

Daventry: Heath, Deeney, Wilkinson, Haines, Hutchcox, Cole, Deacon, Howell, Calvin, Fitzgerald, O’Grady. Subs: Power, Walden, Piggon, Gould, Champelovier.

Goal: Taylor (82 mins, 1-0).

Attendance: 648.