Poppies beat the weather and their home duck as Royston are rolled over
Boss Andy Leese finally tasted league victory on home soil, at the seventh attempt, as Kettering saw off Royston 3-1 in horrific conditions.
The fact the Pitching-IN Southern League Premier Central match even started and finished was a minor miracle, with rain continuing to lash down on an already saturated surface.
Therefore huge credit must go to the ground staff at Latimer Park for getting a game on that would have been immediately called off in years gone by.
However, after the first 45 minutes the majority of fans would have wondered what the effort was for after witnessing a very unforgettable first half of football.
There were errant passes and slips aplenty with the elements taking their toll.
It was Royston that had the better of the paltry opportunities that were created, with the dangerous Joseph Boachlie nodding over on 28 minutes whilst captain Adam Murray was unable to beat Billy Johnson one on one from close range minutes later.
But the rain relented in the second half and a game of football finally broke out.
Rhys Sharpe’s low free kick 25 yards out skidded off the surface in front of Louis Chadwick who could only palm the ball away on 50 minutes.
Boachlie drilled in a shot three minutes later that looked destined for the top corner, but was well turned away by Johnson.
The game’s opening goal came from a mistake.
Poppies skipper Tyrone Lewthwaite attempted to head the ball back across the face of goal but only found the outstretched arm of Murray right in front of the referee.
William Mellors-Blair stepped up to convert from the penalty spot and Kettering were in front on 58 minutes.
But in similar fashion to the AFC Telford performance five days earlier, it took just over a minute for Royston to hit back.
And it had to be the visitors’ best player who took the opportunity - Boachie able to poach a goal from five yards out after losing his man at the near post and tapping in a cross from the right.
Royston continued to test Johnson midway through the half, and he got a crucial hand on a narrow-angled shot by Greg Sandiford.
But it was the Poppies who went on to retake the lead.
Stevenage loanee Owen Cochrane whipped in a cross that again skidded in the area only for Harvey Beckett to deflect the ball into his net on 82 minutes.
Four minutes later and the points were sealed when keeper Louis Chadwick slipped on the edge of his area - Lewthwaite rounded him and dinked the ball home.
The win was the Poppies’ third in their past three games, and sees them rise to 16th in the league table.
They are now five points above the drop zone.