Poppies’ season ends with another unwanted record

ASHLEY WESTWOOD, MANAGER, KETTERING TOWN, Kettering Town v Wrexham, Nene Park, Blue Square Premier, Saturday 3rd March 2012
ASHLEY WESTWOOD, MANAGER, KETTERING TOWN, Kettering Town v Wrexham, Nene Park, Blue Square Premier, Saturday 3rd March 2012

Kettering Town broke another unwanted club record as they conceded their 100th goal of the season in a 3-1 defeat at fellow relegated side Darlington.

A century of goals is the worst by any Poppies side and it came thanks to a disappointing display in the final game of the season as the Quakers ran out deserved winners.

Kettering welcomed Djoumin Sangare back into the starting line-up while Steve Palmer had the rare honour of making his debut on the last day of the season after being drafted in from Rugby Town.

But the first half pretty much belonged to Darlington, who set the tone when John McReady shot at Laurie Walker after just eight seconds.

Walker saved from McReady after Ashley Westwood’s clearance rebounded off the Darlington man while Kettering’s best opening saw Danny Mills skip into the area before his shot was blocked.

But it was the hosts who took the lead just past the half-hour when Ryan Bowman raced clear despite looking slightly offside and beat Walker with a low strike.

Walker saved impressively from Haydn Hollis twice before the break while some late Poppies pressure saw Ben Joyce have an effort blocked.

But the game looked over three minutes into the second half when Bowman again beat the offside trap and, this time, got round Walker before finding the empty net.

However, the Poppies were given hope just before the hour mark when Paul Johnson was adjudged to have pulled the shirt of Charlie Wyke and the striker picked himself up to beat Jordan Nixon from the spot.

But Darlington responded well and Walker saved well from Danny Lambert before the crossbar denied Bowman his hat-trick.

And it was Walker who continued to keep the Quakers out as he turned away Aaron Brown’s free-kick before denying Bowman once more.

But the hosts weren’t to be denied and the 100th goal conceded by Kettering this season arrived when McReady’s low cross was flicked on by Hollis and the unfortunate Ben Ford put through his own net.

James Gray shot wide for the visitors and Patrick Noubissie was so unlucky five minutes from the end when his long-range strike crashed against the angle of post and bar.

But that was the last of the chances as Darlington saw the game out with ease.

Darlington: Nixon; Arnison, Johnson, Taylor, Brown; Wainwright (sub Lambert, 60 mins), McReady, Keltie, Rundle; Hollis, Bowman. Subs not used: Ferguson, Barton.

Poppies: Walker; Sangare, Bridges, Westwood, Ford; Mills, Palmer (sub York, 75 mins), Noubissie, Joyce; Gray, Wyke. Subs not used: Navarro, Petranyuk.

Referee: Peter Bankes.

Goals: Bowman (31 mins, 1-0), Bowman (48 mins, 2-0), Wyke pen (59 mins, 2-1), Ford og (72 mins, 3-1),

Bookings: Noubissie, Johnson (both fouls).

Attendance: 1,792.