Hat-trick hero O'Connor seals a dramatic win for Poppies

The Kettering Town players and fans celebrate Aaron O'Connor's late winner as they came from 3-2 down to beat 10-man Dorchester Town 4-3 at Latimer Park. Pictures by Peter Short
The Kettering Town players and fans celebrate Aaron O'Connor's late winner as they came from 3-2 down to beat 10-man Dorchester Town 4-3 at Latimer Park. Pictures by Peter Short

Aaron O’Connor hit a hat-trick and broke through the 30-goal barrier for the season as Kettering Town made it four wins in a row with a dramatic 4-3 victory over 10-man Dorchester Town at Latimer Park.

Marcus Law was able to name an unchanged starting line-up and squad from the 3-0 victory over Frome Town at the weekend.

Dorchester celebrate one of their three goals at Latimer Park

Dorchester celebrate one of their three goals at Latimer Park

Just like last Tuesday against Royston, the Poppies conceded early with Ash Pop beating Paul White inside the first two minutes after a fine run from Aaron Rodriguez.

Kettering took a while to respond but Mathew Stevens fired just over from 20 yards before they created a good chance when Aaron O’Connor played in Rhys Hoenes who was one-on-one with Chris Weale but the goalkeeper smothered the shot and then collected the rebound.

But the game turned in the final six minutes of the half.

Pope should have made it 2-0 when he missed in front of goal and within a minute, Dorchester were down to 10 men as Ross Carmichael was sent-off for a second bookable offence as he brought down Hoenes having earlier been booked for an altercation with Stevens.

And Kettering took advantage as they turned the game on its head before the break.

Brett Solkhon continued his superb form in front of goal by firing across the goal and into the top corner.

And O’Connor reached his personal milestone in first-half stoppage-time when he was released by Hoenes and beat Weale with a low finish.

But any hopes that Kettering would come out and finish their visitors off after the break were wide of the mark.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Dorchester levelled at 2-2 thanks to Kyle Egan’s fine shot.

And the visitors then stunned the Poppies by taking the lead when a through-ball found Billy Lowes and he slotted past White to make it 3-2.

Kettering were struggling but they got back on level terms again when substitute Rene Howe saw a shock blocked and O’Connor was there to tap home.

And the winner arrived with a minute to go when Wilson Carvalho broke on the right and squared for O’Connor to complete the comeback and his hat-trick.

The Poppies saw out the remaining minutes and can now look forward to a blockbuster weekend in the Evo-Stik South League Premier as they entertain third-placed Weymouth on Saturday before heading to second-placed King’s Lynn Town on Easter Monday.