Kinniburgh seals a thrilling win for Poppies

Dean Thomas
Dean Thomas

Steve Kinniburgh was the last action hero for Kettering Town as a devastating week for the club ended with a quite incredible 4-3 win over Aylesbury United.

Having raced into a 2-0 lead, the Poppies trailed 3-2 soon after half-time but produced a superb fightback in the last 10 minutes with Kinniburgh grabbing the dramatic winner two minutes from the end having earlier missed a penalty.

There was a debut for new goalkeeper Charles Horton, who signed on a short loan deal from Peterborough United before the game while Ashley Deeney returned to the starting line-up.

And, after all the off-field problems this week with the club being wound up in the High Court (which sparked an immediate appeal from the club), the players did all they could to give the fans something to smile about as they flew out of the traps and into a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes.

Foster met the impressive Fuller’s left-wing corner with a firm glancing header into the far corner to put the Poppies in front.

And just 90 seconds later, a loose ball just outside the area fell for Fuller who took aim and smashed a magnificent strike into the bottom corner.

Aylesbury almost hit back immediately with Richard Armstrong scooping the ball over from close range but it was Kettering who continued to make the better chances.

Fuller’s low free-kick was flicked towards goal and visiting stopper Jack Sillitoe had to scramble it away before Dave Deeney’s shot got a touch from the goalkeeper that ensured it just evaded Fuller at the far post.

But Aylesbury did get back into the game just past the half-hour. A free-kick was sent into the area and, although Horton saved Jack Wood’s initial header, the ball fell to Steve Hatch who fired home.

The visitors did have some late pressure in the half but they couldn’t have dreamed how well the second period started for them.

Kettering went firmly into their shells and the visitors drew level when Horton came for a corner, didn’t get there and Wood rose unchallenged to head home.

And it got even worse just six minutes later when Jason Blackett beat the offside trap and raced away. He cut into the area but was brought down by Chris Logan. It looked a clear penalty.

And Keith Williams stepped up to send Horton the wrong way from the spot and complete an impressive comeback.

Kettering looked a bit lost after that and they seemed to be heading for another defeat.

But then, with 11 minutes to go, the game came alive again. Substitute Will Muzvimbiri darted into the area on the left side and was hauled down.

Kinniburgh stepped up but saw his spot-kick was saved by Sillitoe. However, that was just the start of the drama as the ball eventually came back into the area and, after an almighty scramble, another substitute Lewis Wilson fired home at the second attempt.

And there was even better to come. Muzvimbiri had a shooting chance in the area and his effort was deflected to the far post where Kinniburgh was waiting to stab home and send the home faithful into raptures.

The Poppies held on comfortably after that and the full-time whistle was greeted with a cheers of delight as the fans were able to celebrate a first win at Latimer Park.

Now everyone will be hoping there are more matches to watch there in the near future...

Poppies: Horton, A Deeney, Logan, Piercewright, Fox; Hamilton, Kinniburgh, D Deeney, Fuller (sub Muzvimbiri, 63 mins); Thorpe; Foster (sub Wilson, 63 mins). Subs not used: Newman, Sage, Maddox.

Aylesbury United: Sillitoe; Reynolds, Wood, Hatch, K Williams; Baines, Armstrong, G Williams (sub Grace, h-t), Smyth; Blackett, Acheampong (sub Field, 75 mins). Subs not used: Petrucci, Jones, Allen.

Referee: Graham Kinnear.

Goals: Foster (8 mins, 1-0), Fuller (10 mins, 2-0), Hatch (34 mins, 2-1), Wood (53 mins, 2-2), K Williams pen (59 mins, 2-3), Wilson (80 mins, 3-3), Kinniburgh (88 mins, 4-3).

Bookings: Armstrong (foul), Piercewright (retaliation), Wood (dissent).

Attendance: 749.