Poppies beaten at Leek in the Trophy

Poppies boss Marcus Law
Poppies boss Marcus Law

Kettering Town’s winless run was extended to six matches as their interest in the FA Trophy was ended in the first qualifying round as they went down 3-2 at lower-ranked Leek Town.

Marcus Law rang the changes again with Munashe Sundire, Rene Howe, Ben Toseland, Ben Milnes and Lindon Meikle all recalled to the starting line-up while the likes of Gary Mulligan and Mathew Stevens weren’t included in the squad.

Both sides started the game well with Milnes and Meikle both shooting off target for the Poppies.

But it was Leek who opened the scoring to hold a half-time lead when Dan Trickett-Smith fired in off the post from the edge of the area.

Kettering did have chances before the break but Rhys Hoenes shot over while James Brighton fired wide after Hoenes had flicked on a Meikle cross.

Leek doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half when Niall Maguire headed home a free-kick.

But the Poppies responded just two minutes later when a ball from Hoenes found its way to Toseland and his shot was deemed to have crossed the line.

And Kettering were soon level with Howe playing the ball through to substitute Aaron O’Connor and he slid the ball into the corner.

It took a fine block from Marshall Willock to deny Tim Grice but it was Grice who won it with three minutes to go when he went clear and slotted home.