Poppies pick up second successive win

Thomas Baillie
Thomas Baillie

Troy Johnston grabbed the only goal as relegated Kettering Town secured back-to-back wins in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division with a 1-0 success at Bedworth United.

The Poppies were without centre-half Henry Eze, who started a three-match ban, but there was a return for striker Jamie Griffiths while Tim Singh-Gill and Aidan Bradshaw also came into the starting line-up.

Kettering had an early scare when Tom Lorraine latched onto a through-ball and his shot beat Michael Quirke but Nathan Fox got back in time to clear.

Fox suffered another recurrence of a hip injury and had to be withdrawn soon after and Bedworth went close again when Aaron Donaldson shot over after neat inter-play between him and Alex Dean.

The Poppies’ first chance saw Nathan Hicks lob wide of the target after home goalkeeper Andrew Kemp rushed off his line.

But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock just before half-time when a fortunate ricochet saw the ball break for Johnston and he kept his composure to slot past Kemp.

Bedworth should have levelled before the break when Mitchell Piggon sent a free header from four yards wide of the target and Kettering had another let-off early in the second half when home substitute Ashley Cain’s cross caused a scramble before the ball was eventually hacked off the line.

And the Poppies’ cause was not helped when substitute Arnaud Ndzomo, who had replaced Fox, saw red when he kicked out at Lorraine.

Another Kettering substitute Louie Hamilton shot just wide while, at the other end, Quirke got down well to save from David Blenkinsop.

Bedworth did have a late effort ruled out for a foul on Quirke but the Poppies held on to seal a second successive victory.

They will have an immediate chance to make it three in a row when they play Bideford at Steel Park tomorrow (Sunday).

Poppies starting line-up: Quirke, Bradshaw, Fox, Logan, Singh-Gill, Crowie, Johnston, Hicks, Griffiths, Muzvimbiri, Ford.

Attendance: 220.