Poppies celebrate the title with another win

Kettering Town joint-managers Scott Machin and Thomas Baillie
Kettering Town joint-managers Scott Machin and Thomas Baillie

Kettering Town celebrated lifting the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central title by beating play-off chasers Bedworth United 2-1 at Latimer Park.

First-half goals from Elliot Sandy and Brett Solkhon proved decisive for the Poppies before they received the title trophy to the delight of just over 1,000 fans.

Joint-bosses Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin were forced into one change with Josh Moreman serving a one-match ban.

James Jepson came back into the side while Tommy Hull took over at right-back and James Clifton was among the substitutes following a shoulder injury.

Bedworth started the better and Chad Degville-Cross went close early on before the Poppies finally grew into the contest.

Sandy had a shot blocked after he beat the offside trap while, at the other end, Daniel Creaney glanced a header wide from Ben Stean’s good ball in.

But it was the champions who took the lead on 27 minutes when Dubi Ogbonna sent Sandy clear with an excellent through-ball and the frontman did the rest with a good finish.

Former Poppies goalkeeper Denham Hinds flapped at a corner which allowed Gary Mulligan to stab wide at the far post before the hosts doubled their lead seven minutes before the break.

Jepson’s free-kick from the right caused an almighty scramble in the area with Sandy and Mulligan both having efforts blocked but Solkhon was on hand to fire home the loose ball from close range.

Bedworth were better after the break and they came right back into the game on 51 minutes when Luke Rowe’s free-kick found the unmarked Creaney who fired into the roof of the net.

Jason Lee was forced to clear Andrew Westwood’s shot off the line soon after but the game died down after that.

The Poppies created little while Bedworth were forced to chase the game and Richard Knight made a decent save from Rowe before Westwood sent a fine strike whistling past the post late on.

In the end, Kettering saw things out to sign off their home campaign on a winning note.

Just one more game remains to complete what has been a fantastic campaign.

Poppies: Knight; Hull (sub Robinson, h-t), Solkhon, Lee, Kinniburgh; Hall (sub Richard-Noel, 82 mins), Jepson, Gooding, Ogbonna; Sandy, Mulligan (sub Kolodynski, 50 mins). Subs not used: McAlindon, Clifton.

Bedworth: Hinds; Tulin, Albrighton, Haines, Rowe; Degville-Cross (sub Bains, 55 mins), Walters (sub Naughton, 55 mins), Westwood, Creaney; Stean, Ashmore. Subs not used: Malkie, Devas, Donovan.

Referee: Geoff Law.

Goals: Sandy (27 mins, 1-0), Solkhon (38 mins, 2-0), Creaney (51 mins, 2-1).

Bookings: Hall, Tulin (both fouls), Westwood (dissent).

Attendance: 1,003.