Poppies take the friendly honours against Steelmen

Kettering Town rounded off their pre-season friendly campaign with a 1-0 win at Corby Town in a competitive encounter at Steel Park.

Steel Park
Steel Park

Jordan Graham’s 13th-minute goal secured the victory for the Poppies ahead of their Vanarama National League North opener at AFC Fylde next weekend.

The Steelmen’s first home outing of the summer saw them put in a decent display as their season begins in the FA Cup next Saturday.

The Poppies grabbed the only goal of the game on 13 minutes when Rhys Sharpe’s free-kick was saved by Jason Alexander but he could only parry it into the path of Graham who lofted the ball into the net.

Corby grew into the game and visiting goalkeeper Cameron Gregory made a smart save to deny Tristan Matthews and was then forced to tip a Curtis Hartley effort over the bar after a scramble in the box.

But it was Kettering who looked in control for the most part and Graham was off target before the break when he connected with a fine ball in from the right from Harry Reilly.

The Poppies had chances to increase their lead after the break as Corby manager Lee Attenborough made some early changes in the second half.

Keaton Ward curled a free-kick just wide and Harry Reilly nodded off target while, in between, Alexander made a brilliant save to deny Neo Richard-Noel after he got his head onto a good ball in from Sharpe.

The Steelmen responded with one of their trialists firing into the side netting and they had an even better chance when substitute Sacha Markelic headed over from a good position.

Kettering boss Lee Glover made four changes with 70 minutes on the clock and the latter stages of the game petered out somewhat with the visitors running out as winners.