Late drama as Logan sends Poppies through

Chris Logan was the hero for Kettering Town as his last-gasp goal sealed a 2-1 win at Romulus in the FA Trophy preliminary round replay
Chris Logan was the hero for Kettering Town as his last-gasp goal sealed a 2-1 win at Romulus in the FA Trophy preliminary round replay

Chris Logan scored a dramatic late winner as Kettering Town rounded off a fine couple of days by booking their place in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy.

The Poppies looked to be heading out after Daniel O’Callaghan gave Romulus a half-time lead in the preliminary round replay.

But Jake Newman grabbed his first goal of the season with nine minutes to go before Logan, also with his first for the campaign, finished the job in the dying moments.

The 2-1 success came just a day after the Poppies’ off-field survival took a decisive twist when the winding-up order against them was rescinded in the Royal Courts of Justice.

Poppies boss Dean Thomas made three changes to his starting line-up with Jonathon Thorpe, Jake Newman and Rob Foster all coming in.

But Kettering got off to the worst possible start as they fell behind after four minutes when when a long throw into the box was glanced home by Daniel O’Callaghan.

The Poppies hit back and Newman should have done better when he beat the last man and tried to go round home goalkeeper Lewis Exall but was pushed too wide.

Foster shot wide after he was put through by Andy Gooding while, at the other end, Henry Eze halted a weaving run by Emmanuel Gueyes.

The Poppies started the second half the better and Ash Fuller’s cross flashed across the six-yard box with no-one able to get on the end of it.

Exhall saved well from Newman while Steve Kinniburgh had to make a late block to deny Tyron Amory after he was clear on goal.

Charlie Horton was forced into a fine diving save to deny Thomas Turton and Thomas threw on Will Muzvimbiri and Louis Hamilton as the Poppies searched for an equaliser.

Muzvimbiri headed wide from a fine Chimdi Akubuine cross while Hamilton saw a 25-yard strike touched round the post by Exall at full stretch.

But the leveller did arrive nine minutes from full-time when Hamilton’s cross was glanced into the bottom corner by Newman.

Fuller saw a free-kick deflected wide but a dramatic finish soon followed as the Poppies grabbed the winner in the final minute.

A corner was swung in and Logan crashed the ball home before being buried under a pile of his team-mates.

Kettering saw the game out and booked themselves a first qualifying round date with Calor League Division One Central rivals St Ives Town at Latimer Park a week on Saturday.

Poppies line-up: Horton, Akubuine, Kinniburgh, Logan, Eze, Piercewright, Thorpe, Gooding, Foster, Newman, Fuller. Subs: McAlindon, Tricks, Muzvimbiri, Hamilton, Knight.

Goals: O’Callaghan (4 mins, 1-0), Newman (81 mins, 1-1), Logan (90 mins, 1-2).

Attendance: 98.