Seven-up! Poppies go clear of relegation zone with big win at rivals AFC Sudbury

Kettering Town have given themselves a little more breathing space after beating relegation rivals AFC Sudbury 1-0, to pull seven points away from the drop zone in the Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central.
Michael Reindorf celebrates after opening the scoring for Kettering Town (Picture: Peter Short)Michael Reindorf celebrates after opening the scoring for Kettering Town (Picture: Peter Short)
Michael Reindorf celebrates after opening the scoring for Kettering Town (Picture: Peter Short)

Hitchin Town, Bromsgrove Sporting and Stourbridge also all lost in their respective matches, dragging them all into the relegation picture to make it a perfect weekend for the men in red.

Poppies fans do like an away day, especially when the chips are down.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And the 200 that travelled to Suffolk will have been impressed by another tenacious defensive display that saw Kettering claim their fourth clean sheet in the past five games.

Kettering on the attack in their win over AFC Sudbury (Picture: Peter Short)Kettering on the attack in their win over AFC Sudbury (Picture: Peter Short)
Kettering on the attack in their win over AFC Sudbury (Picture: Peter Short)

It was the visitors who settled first on the 3G pitch - a surface Kettering haven't won on since August 2021!

Three early corners came to nothing but the positive intent early on was there for all to see. Sudbury hit back with their own chance on six minutes but Ben Hunter pulled his shot inside the area well wide.

As the game settled down Kettering took the lead.

Michael Reindorf surged forward into the Sudbury half causing a mix-up between keeper and defender.

Kettering Town's bench celebrate at the final whistle (Picture: Peter Short)Kettering Town's bench celebrate at the final whistle (Picture: Peter Short)
Kettering Town's bench celebrate at the final whistle (Picture: Peter Short)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

James Bradbrook opted to rush off his line but Reindorf showed immense maturity by looking up and deftly lobbing the keeper on 16 minutes.

Reindorf turned provider four minutes later pumping a cross into the area but Adi Yussuf couldn't quite turn his header goalwards to double the lead.

At the other end Callum Page had the host's best opportunity of the first half on 25 minutes but his header also went just side of the post.

By the half-hour mark, the match was becoming fragmented with neither side able to break down the opposition defences.

Kettering Town were cheered on by a 200-striong travelling army of supporters (Picture: Peter Short)Kettering Town were cheered on by a 200-striong travelling army of supporters (Picture: Peter Short)
Kettering Town were cheered on by a 200-striong travelling army of supporters (Picture: Peter Short)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hunter had a tame shot easily claimed by Arlo Doherty on 34 minutes whilst Rhys Sharpe bent a corner goalwards on 44 minutes which was tipped over the bar by Bradbrook.

Doherty was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the second half denying Sudbury twice in the space of three minutes.

First, a tight angled effort from Romario Dunne with 53 on the clock. Shortly after Doherty needed to be at full stretch to deny a fierce strike from Joshua Allen.

Kettering were becoming increasingly frustrated with referee Paul Stratton, who missed an horrendous tackle on Charlie Marzano resulting in the right back having to be substituted on 73 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tyrone Lewthwaite had also been introduced into the game and thought he was one-on-one with the Sudbury keeper before a late flag was met with loud dissent from the travelling fans.

Lewthwaite nearly put the game to bed with six minutes remaining but his cheeky flick from Harry Reilly's cross was parried up in the air by Bradbrook before being safely caught.

With six minutes stoppage time on the board Sudbury nearly snatched a point through the dangerous substitute Soyemi-Ololade.

He turned Reilly inside out before unleashing a shot on the edge of the area forcing another full-stretch save from Doherty to turn the ball past the post.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The under-23 Leicester City loanee then showed equally impressive bravery by leaping highest to collect the resulting corner and see out the game.

Manager Richard Lavery was quick to praise the defensive output of his back five calling them "unbelievable" in his post match interview.

There is no doubt that something has been added to the water since his arrival at Latimer Park.

With the league table so congested in the midfield, a top 10 finish isn't out of the question should Kettering continue this fine form.

Related topics: