Kettering Town produced a comeback from 1-0 down to beat SkyBet League One side Northampton Town to the Maunsell Cup on penalties.
Northampton Town started with a very strong line-up and this was reflected in the early stages of the match, with the Cobblers regularly breaking in to the Kettering Town 18-yard box and could have been 1-0 up after three minutes if it wasn’t for a strong Paul White save.
The Cobblers however did take the lead after again breaking down the left-hand-side of the pitch and providing a good cross into the feet of Dean Bowditch who put the higher ranked opposition in front.
Northampton’s domination of the game was consistent during the first-half and Aaron Phillips also came very close to furthering their advantage as his cross-shot hit the crossbar.
It did seem that Kettering Town would draw level against the run of play as Nathan Hicks managed to produce a header from an out-swinging cross. However, the goal was disallowed for an infringement on the goalkeeper. After struggling in the first-half, Marcus Law’s Poppies side seemed to have made the most of their half time break as they came out more competitive in the second-half and were seeing more of the possession. It would eventually take a stunning effort from Michael Richens to bring the game level as he chipped the ball over the head of the Cobblers ‘keeper from 30 yards out.
After this spell, Northampton came back into the game and began to dominate. They were unlucky on two occasions towards the end of the match and Brendan Maloney’s shot only managed to find the woodwork for a second time.
The game went to a penalty shootout during which it was Kettering Town who came out on top and the eventual 5-3 winners in the pouring rain. Paul White produced a fine save to put the Poppies 4-3 up and left Brett Solkhon to score the winning penalty.
Congratulations to all parties for the huge efforts made to rearrange the fixture. The commitment of Northampton Town FC to this fixture was much appreciated and Kettering Town’s efforts to take their home game operation to Wellingborough Town FC was outstanding. Wellingborough Town’s ground offer and support in the lead up to the game and on the day was also first class much appreciated.
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