Kettering Town produced a devastating first-half display as they strengthened their grip on a play-off place in the Evo-Stik South League Premier with a thumping 6-0 success over Bishop’s Stortford at Latimer Park.
Marcus Law made changes with Mathew Stevens partnered with Aaron O’Connor in attack with Rene Howe named on the bench while Tom Marshall returned at the heart of the defence with Gary Mulligan and Brett Solkhon making up the central midfield pairing.
And the Poppies showed no mercy on their visitors as they fired in five goals in the opening period.
Stevens set the ball rolling when the visiting goalkeeper lost track of the ball after saving the striker’s first shot and Stevens was left with a simple tap in.
Two goals in the space of two minutes took the game away from the visitors with top scorer Aaron O’Connor converting from a Stevens pass before Stevens was credited with the third from five yards.
And things only got worse for Bishop’s Stortford as Marvel Ekpiteta brought down Rhys Hoenes in the area. The defender was sent-off and Brett Solkhon stepped up to score from the spot.
It was 5-0 before the break when Kalern Thomas’ pinpoint cross was headed home by O’Connor and, while Kettering took their foot off the gas after the break, they did add one more goal when Orrin Pendley headed in from a Lindon Meikle pass.
The Poppies will be hoping for the same again when they make the long trip to Tiverton Town on Tuesday night.
Corby Town halted their six-game losing streak with a welcome return to winning ways as they beat Loughborough Dynamo 2-0 at Steel Park.
Dino Tuksar won his battle to be fit for the clash as he was handed a starting role, youngster Dean McBride also returned to partner Paul Malone in the centre of defence while striker Matt Gardner missed out due to work commitments.
There was little to write home about in a poor first half but the introduction of Jordon Crawford in the second half made the difference.
The Steelmen had the chance to open the scoring when Phil Trainer was brought down by the visiting goalkeeper but he kept his team in it when he saved Steven Leslie’s penalty.
However, Trainer made amends when he slotted home the opening goal from Crawford’s pass.
And Crawford scored the crucial second from close-range after Trainer’s shot was deflected into his path.
Loughborough’s misery was complete when captain Ashley Hodgkinson was sent-off for a second bookable offence.
The Steelmen remain seven points off the play-off places in the Evo-Stik League South ahead of next weekend’s trip to Stocksbridge Park Steels.