Poppies’ pre-season ends in defeat

Poppies boss John Beck
Poppies boss John Beck

Kettering Town’s preparations for the new Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign ended in a 2-0 defeat to Rotherham United at Nene Park.

Once again, Poppies boss John Beck gave a number of trialists a run-out, particularly in the second half while most of the contracted players featured in the game.

And it was two late goals that handed the Millers victory.

The Poppies, sporting their new home kit in the first half, started with a number of their contracted players but it was trialist striker Gele Pacome who caught the eye.

He caused the Rotherham defence numerous problems and had the first good chance 10 minutes before the break when he shot just wide of Andy Warrington’s goal after the ball broke for him in the area.

But the hosts missed a great chance to take the lead before the break when they were awarded a penalty when a visiting defender handled in the area.

Sean Bonnett-Johnson stepped up but ballooned his spot-kick high over the crossbar.

Danny Voight had a header saved on the stroke of half-time and manager Beck rang the changes at the break with a brand new team taking to the pitch.

They wore the new away kit of blue and white hoops, which were the colours first worn by the club when it was formed nearly 140 years ago.

Warren Byerley, Laurie Walker and Michael King were brought on along with a number of trialists including former Histon defender Matt Langston.

Chances were few and far between, however, although Kettering trialist David Mayo-Ugookor forced Warrington into a decent save with 15 minutes to go.

That was the spark the game needed and Byerley sent a half-volley whistling past the post before Rotherham took the lead with six minutes to go when former Poppies frontman Alex Revell scored from close-range.

And Revell turned provider in the dying moments when he did well to set up Alec Denton, who made no mistake as he beat Walker with a low shot.

The Poppies are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Weymouth for the season opener.