VERDICT - The weather wins as Poppies are held

Rene Howe battles for a high ball during Kettering Town's 0-0 draw with Slough Town. Pictures by Peter Short
Rene Howe battles for a high ball during Kettering Town's 0-0 draw with Slough Town. Pictures by Peter Short

Storm Brian got the better of both Kettering Town and Slough Town as the big game of the day in the Evo-Stik South League Premier ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

It was a shame really. This had the makings of an absolute belter between two sides who have really taken the division by the scruff of the neck in the early stages of the campaign.

Ben Milnes and Lee Togwell battle for possession

Ben Milnes and Lee Togwell battle for possession

But the strong wind and, at times, driving rain, which swept across Latimer Park throughout the contest ensured neither side could really take control of proceedings.

The Poppies produced a decent display, they were solid defensively and they were certainly the more adventurous of the two teams with Slough goalkeeper Jack Turner being a lot busier than Paul White, who was recalled to the home side’s starting line-up.

However, the final outcome was probably about right and a worthy scoreline for a game that lacked any sort of incident.

Both clubs could argue that it is a better point for them than the other.

Slough and their followers seemed happy. They became the first team to stop Kettering from winning at home in the league this season and the point was enough to put them top of the table.

For the Poppies, they can point to the fact that they have now taken four points off one of their rivals at the sharp end of the division. They won at Slough on the opening day, a feat no other team has managed yet, so to get the better of a good side over two games is a good return.

As far as this game was concerned, the tone was set inside the first few seconds when Slough’s George Wells attempted a throw down the touchline, it came into play and was promptly blown back out without anyone touching it.

It proved to be a struggle for both sides to get any sort of attacking play going with Slough’s best opening seeing Nathan Webb robbing Ben Toseland of the ball and crossing, only for a poor first touch from Brad Wadkins to let him down at the key moment.

The Poppies had their moments with the best being when Gary Stohrer beat two players and forced Turner into a good, low save at his near post.

Little, not least the weather, improved after the break but White maintained a good level of concentration to hold well-struck long-range efforts from both James Dobson and Lee Togwell.

But, in general, any action that did occur came at the other end.

The Poppies did, at least, give it a go and Aaron O’Connor forced Turner into another smart save after good work from Stohrer while Rene Howe dragged an effort off target after Brett Solkhon had flicked the ball into his path.

O’Connor had another shot deflected just off target after a driving run from Lindon Meikle but there was to be no way through.

This one certainly won’t be remembered as a classic, that’s for sure.

How important this point is for both sides though remains to be seen...

Poppies: White; Berry, Mulligan, Solkhon, Toseland; Stohrer (sub Hoenes, 84 mins), Richens, Milnes (sub Willock, 56 mins), Meikle; Howe (sub Stevens, 84 mins), O’Connor. Subs not used: Brighton, Wright.

Slough: Turner; Fraser, Ainns, Hollis, Wells; Nisbet, Webb, Lench, Togwell; Flood (sub Dobson, 48 mins), Wadkins. Subs not used: Jackman, Smart, Dunn, Williams.

Referee: Edward Pidduck.

Attendance: 824.