Kettering Town FC ended the 2017/18 season on a positive note, following a successful defence of their Hillier Senior Cup title.
The Poppies started the game in strong fashion and created a good early chance through Wilson Carvalho, however his shot failed to hit the target. After an initial positive start, Brackley Town tested Kettering Town's defence with several attacks on goal. Richens and Iaciofano seemed to be Brackley Town's biggest threats, as both players tested Kettering's ‘keeper in the first half.
The game then endured a long stoppage due to an injury to Brackley Town goalkeeper Alastair Worby. After the injury, the remainder of the first half finished with relatively little action.
For the start of the second half, injured Worby was replaced by makeshift goalkeeper Andy Brown. Rene Howe had a good headed opportunity early on in the second half but he could only find the gloves of Brown. In the 55th minute, Stohrer was brought down in the box for Kettering Town and captain Brett Solkhon stepped up to successfully convert the penalty.
Kettering Town's lead was relatively short-lived, as a stunning 25-yard half volley from Shep Murombedzi flew into the top right-hand corner of Kettering Town's net to bring the game back into balance.
Both teams offered relatively little during the following 10 minutes, although Kettering did slot home a goal which was then brought back for offside.
With five minutes remaining, Kettering Town were awarded another penalty when Milnes was brought down on the left-hand side of the box. Again, Kettering Town captain Brett Solkhon made no mistake from the spot and scored Kettering's second of the game, which proved to be the winner.
With Brackley Town chasing the game it made for some frantic final minutes, with chances and penalty shouts at both ends.
Full Time - Brackley Town 1-2 Kettering Town
A huge thank you must go to Wellingborough Town FC for their hosting of the evening and the use of their pitch, which is in a remarkably good condition for this time of year.
Congratulations to Kettering Town on retaining their title and we look forward to seeing the Poppies play in the Maunsell Cup v Peterborough United in the summer months.
Best wishes also go to the injured Brackley Town goalkeeper, Alastair Worby. All at the Association wish him a speedy recovery.
Finally, good luck to Brackley Town ahead of their National League Promotion Final v Harrogate Town on 13 May 2018 and their FA Trophy Final v Bromley, due to be played at Wembley Stadium on 20 May 2018.