Poppies slip to defeat at Northwood

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

Kettering Town missed the chance to go eight points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central table as they slipped to a shock 3-1 defeat at Northwood.

Dubi Ogbonna marked his return to the starting line-up with a first-half equaliser but the Poppies tasted defeat for the fifth time in the league this season.

Joint-managers Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin were dealt a blow in the build-up to the game with in-form frontman Elliot Sandy ruled out because of illness.

It meant Ogbonna came in to partner David Kolodynski in attack while Claudiu Hoban also returned to the starting line-up with James Jepson dropping to the bench.

The Poppies made a poor start as the home side went in front after just nine minutes when Rob Hastings ran through and slotted home.

But Kettering almost produced an instant response when Kolodynski’s effort crashed off the crossbar.

Andy Gooding saw a shot blocked and Ogbonna fired straight at home goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin before he brought the Poppies level midway through the half.

James Clifton found Kolodynski who was pushed but Ogbonna was on hand to pick up the pieces and beat Laurencin.

It remain level at the break, although Northwood did hit the bar themselves just before half-time.

The Poppies came out looking to take the lead but they were unable to find the net with Tommy Hull going close while Ogbonna had an effort ruled out for offside.

And Kettering were stunned when Hastings struck again to put Northwood back in front as he beat a number of players before finding the top corner.

The Poppies’ misery was completed four minutes from the end when Niko Muir’s shot was deflected past Richard Knight.

It means Kettering still remain five points clear at the top ahead of their local derby at Daventry Town next Saturday.

Northwood: Laurencin, Vassell, Lomas, M Burgess, Turner, Dicker, J Ehui, J Burgess, Muir, Murray, Hastings. Subs: Hudson, Lawrence, I Ehui, Nicholas.

Poppies: Knight, Clifton, Solkhon, Lee, Kinniburgh, Hall, Gooding, Hull, Hoban, Ogbonna, Kolodynski. Subs: Watts, Bukasa, Jepson, Robinson, Marsh.

Goals: Hastings (9 mins, 1-0), Ogbonna (22 mins, 1-1), Hastings (68 mins, 2-1), Muir (86 mins, 3-1).