Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Another good away performance for Bulls

Terry Goodwin was at Latimer Park to report on tonight's 0-0 draw between Kettering Town and Hereford.

A baking smell from the nearby Weetabix factory wafted across Latimer Park ahead of kick-off between two of the lower-ranking sides in Vanarama North, but neither Kettering Town or Hereford could serve up a goal in an eventful, entertaining encounter.

After two away wins in a week, the Bulls headed to Kettering where the pitch looked drier, if no less muddy, than it did a few weeks ago when the game was called off at 1.30, as we pulled into the car park. There were no such problems tonight as a lunchtime pitch inspection deemed everything tip top and ready to go.

The Bulls started the game seven points ahead of the Poppies, and Josh Gowling opted for an unchanged starting eleven with Kyle Finn on the bench.

Strugglers Kettering began well as Hereford had to adapt to the playing surface. The home side applied pressure in the early stages, with Daniel Nti looking lively. Brett Solkhon headed wide of Brandon Hall’s goal after six minutes.

Then Kettering’s best opening came midway through the half, with a Daniel Nti cross finding the head of Hereford captain Jared Hodgkiss who nodded the ball into the hands of his own goalkeeper.

Hereford grew in confidence as the half progressed with good movement by Tommy O’Sullivan to create opportunities, although there were few moments for Paul White in the Kettering goal to worry about. Tom Owen-Evans volleyed a fierce shot into the side netting just before the half hour mark, and Kelsey Mooney attempted to find some space against a physical Kettering back line with the teams goalless at the break.

Hereford made a half-time change with Rowan Liburd coming on for Mooney, and he immediately made an impact as he hit the crossbar from an acute angle. He then connected with O’Sullivan to shoot at the goalkeeper.

The home side, though, found the net as Omari Sterling-James and Tre Mitford caused confusion in the Hereford box. But it was ruled out for a foul on Hall. Mitford also fired into the side netting for Kettering.

Liburd had Hereford’s best chance with twenty minutes to go. He threaded onto a ball from Linell John-Lewis, charged forward and then struck a fierce shot which was tipped over by Paul White in the Kettering goal.

At the other end, Hall was the busier of the two keepers. He was almost beaten late on when a melee in the area saw a ball driven onto the post, only for Hodgkiss to hook it away to safety.

A point each was a fair result on a tricky pitch. Both sides played hard, attacking football and attempted to find a winning goal, although neither could break the deadlock. For Josh Gowling, it’s seven points from the last three games and the turnaround in fortunes is clear. Hereford were confident, creative, and ultimately look like a team with a renewed purpose. Bring on away trip number four, at Spennymoor.

Kettering: White, Stohrer, Taylor, Graham (capt), Solkhon, Milner, Nti, Mitford, Kennedy, Sterling-James, Meikle. Subs: Smith, Bennett, Richens, Aghatise, Law

Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss (capt), Anderson (Thomas, 77), Pollock, Pope, Riley, O’Sullivan, Jagger Cane, John-Lewis, Mooney (Liburd, 46), Owen-Evans (Finn, 77). Unused subs: Ash, Cullinane-Liburd.

Attendance: 640
Referee: Scott Tallis