Poppies are stung by rare home defeat

Marcus Law watches on during Kettering Town's 3-2 home defeat to Tiverton Town. Pictures by Peter Short
Marcus Law watches on during Kettering Town's 3-2 home defeat to Tiverton Town. Pictures by Peter Short

Kettering Town’s hopes of securing a home play-off semi-final in the Evo-Stik South League Premier were dealt a devastating blow as they slipped to a 3-2 defeat to Tiverton Town at Latimer Park.

The Poppies were without injured top scorer Aaron O’Connor and fellow striker Rene Howe but did take a 1-0 lead into half-time.

Mathew Stevens celebrates after he he opened the scoring

Mathew Stevens celebrates after he he opened the scoring

There had been little to write home about until Rhys Hoenes crossed from the right and Mathew Stevens was there to tap home.

Brett Solkhon had a header cleared off the line early in the second half but the game changed on 73 minutes when Levi Landricombe fired a shot into the corner.

And the same player put Tiverton in front with eight minutes to go with a fine free-kick.

The game was up when Jordan Rogers slotted home after latching onto a ball over the top but Kettering did stage a mini fightback with Solkhon converting from the penalty spot after Stevens had been fouled.

Rhys Hoenes in action for Poppies

Rhys Hoenes in action for Poppies

And only another goal-line clearance denied them a dramatic late equaliser.

Nonetheless, the Poppies were condemned to only their second league defeat of the season at Latimer Park and, after Slough Town claimed a victory at Royston Town, Kettering now sit in fourth going into the final day of the season meaning they could yet be away from home in the play-off semi-final next Wednesday night.