Ogbonna the hat-trick hero for Poppies

Poppies boss Dean Thomas
Poppies boss Dean Thomas

Dubi Ogbonna hit a hat-trick as Kettering Town’s superb run of form continued with a 3-1 victory at Marlow in the Calor League Division One Central.

Ogbonna has made a huge impact in just two matches since arriving from St Ives Town and he made it four goals in two games having opened his account in the 2-1 win over Uxbridge last weekend.

And his treble - the first by a Poppies player since Lewis Wilson’s at Hitchin Town on Boxing Day last year - ensured the current Kettering crop extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine matches.

Boss Dean Thomas was forced into one change with Henry Eze missing his train to get to the game. It meant a start at left-back for Jonathan Bukasa with skipper Steve Kinniburgh filling in at centre-half.

But that change didn’t faze Kettering and they took the lead on 16 minutes when Deqwon Ebanks’ shot was parried by home goalkeeper Simon Grant and Ogbonna finished from the rebound.

Grant saved from Ash Fuller, who also blazed an effort wide after James Jepson had seen a header tipped over the crossbar.

Marlow threatened when Devontae Romeo had a shot comfortably held by Denham Hinds and the home player also had an effort cleared off the line by Kinniburgh before the break.

But it was the Poppies who continued to pose the bigger threat with Ogbonna having a shot saved by Grant after twisting and turning in the box while Ebanks’ header was hacked off the line by home defender Jordan Lee-Brown.

However, Kettering only had to wait 12 minutes after the restart to double their advantage.

Marlow captain Danny Lingwood missed his kick from a ball over the top and Ogbonna raced on before burying his shot into the bottom corner.

There was a setback for the Poppies though when Lingwood pulled a goal back for the hosts on the turn.

But the two-goal advantage was restored just two minutes later as Ogbonna completed his hat-trick. He cut in and hit an effort that stopped short of the line but he followed in to finish it off.

Hinds saved from Carl Davies soon after but the Poppies were given the chance to put the game to bed when Ogbonna was brought down in the area.

Louis Hamilton stepped up from 12 yards but saw his penalty saved by Grant, who also denied substitute Jake Newman after he was clean through on goal.

Ogbonna and Hamilton both saw efforts saved by Grant before the end while Hinds ensured there was no nervous finish when he got down well to save Michael Bartley’s header.

There were no further concerns as Kettering saw things out. Their next action comes at the weekend with another away-day at Aylesbury.

Poppies: Hinds; Akubuine, Hull, Kinniburgh, Bukasa; Hamilton, Jepson, Logan, Fuller (sub Newman); Ebanks (sub Gooding), Ogbonna (sub Beckley).

Goals: Ogbonna (16 mins, 0-1), Ogbonna (57 mins, 0-2), Lingwood (64 mins, 1-2), Ogbonna (66 mins, 1-3).

Attendance: 132.