VERDICT: It’s handshakes all-round as Poppies and Buxton share the spoils

Honours ended even at Latimer Park as Kettering Town and Buxton battled out a competitive goalless draw.
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And, in the end, it was handshakes all-round with both clubs seemingly fairly satisfied by what was a fair outcome.

Both clubs still have work to do to get to safety in the Vanarama National League North but, on this showing, both might just have enough as they fought and clawed to put another point on the board.

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The Poppies weren’t helped by a bug going through the camp, which ruled out both Lewis White and Ethan Hill, but George Cooper stepped in for White and turned in a solid display alongside the highly-impressive Brad Gascoigne at the heart of the defence.

Brad Gascoigne turned in an impressive display in Kettering Town's goalless draw with Buxton. Picture by Peter ShortBrad Gascoigne turned in an impressive display in Kettering Town's goalless draw with Buxton. Picture by Peter Short
Brad Gascoigne turned in an impressive display in Kettering Town's goalless draw with Buxton. Picture by Peter Short

Buxton’s two central defenders – Josh Granite and Jake Hull – dominated proceedings at the other end as well. This was a game where the defences were very much on top.

The first half was particularly watchable with Buxton dangerman Diego De Girolamo out of luck early on as his volley crashed off the underside of the bar and was deemed not to have crossed the line while Brad Jackson fired over soon after.

But the Poppies gradually worked their way into it and Frankie Maguire saw a shot deflected just wide before, from the resulting corner, George Forsyth’s effort was well blocked.

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Kettering did have the ball in the net when Keaton Ward scored from close range but Decarrey Sheriff was ruled to have run the ball out of play just before he sent a low cross in.

Sheriff was out of luck himself soon after when his cross into the danger area was watched by everyone as it bounced off the far post and into the grateful hands of Theo Richardson.

The woodwork was struck once more before half-time with De Girolamo seeing his effort come back off the inside of the upright before being hacked clear.

Kettering saw plenty of the ball in the second period without really ever opening the visitors up.

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Gascoigne saw a fierce effort blocked by the more sensitive part of Granite’s body while, at the other end, De Girolamo headed over when unmarked.

But there were few other chances as both teams looked to be reasonably content to take a point and a clean sheet and move on.

For Kettering, it’s now back-to-back clean sheets while they have tasted defeat just once in the last seven games.

That encouraging run, however, will get the sternest of tests on Tuesday night when they host table-topping AFC Fylde.

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Poppies: Foulkes; Myles, Gascoigne, Cooper, Sharpe; Forsyth, Stohrer, Maguire; Ward (sub Lewthwaite, 81 mins), Bennett, Sheriff. Subs not used: Hogg, Flanagan, Sault, Reilly.

Buxton: Richardson; Brown, Hull, Granite, Conway (sub Poole, 89 mins), McCourt; Barnett (sub Brisley, 89 mins), Jackson, Kirby, Ackroyd (sub Meikle, 90 mins), De Girolamo. Subs not used: Moult, Bacon.

Referee: Harry Jones.

Bookings: Ackroyd, Myles, Brown (all fouls),

Northants Telegraph man-of-the-match: Brad Gascoigne – a towering display from the big centre-half who, as we found out afterwards, was playing with a bit of illness. Solid.

Attendance: 790.