Kettering Town v Tamworth FC
On FA Cup third round weekend, and on the back of the 3-3 draw at home to Barwell on New Years Day, Tamworth travelled to second placed Kettering Dennis Greene was able to pick a strong starting eleven with one of the youngest benches in living memory as injury and suspension limited options for substitutes.
For the home side, one time Lambs boss Marcus Law featured former Lambs Marcus Kelly and Adam Cunnington in the Poppies starting XI.
Tamworth got the match underway on a pitch that looked like it would cut up as the game continued as Holman made easy work of breaking into the box on 3 and fired a rising shot over the bar. Hoenes directed an angled rolling shot towards the far post from the left of the box and it is shepherded behind for a corner on the right which continues to cause problems for The Lambs defence.
Holman struck a shot from 25 yards and hit the base of the left hand upright.
Kelly’s ball from the right was headed on by Holman and directed at goal by Cunnington on 7 as the home side continued to press.
A corner was conceded by The Lambs on 13 and Meikle struck from distance but fired wide.
Tamworth pushed up field for the first real attack on 15 and Lait had two bites of the apple to get a cross in but the ball went out for a goalkick.
A lobbed through ball for Holman to run on to forced Simpson to race out of his box and try to block the ball which he did, and the flag went up to deny the run.
A right sided freekick for The Poppies was swung into the box by Kelly and Gough headed it away but Kelly fired it back in for Verma and then Gough to clear again.
A powerful strike from Kelly-Evans was pushed over the top of the Lambs bar by the fingertips of Simpson on 28 and Kettering kept up the pressure from the corner.
So much so that on 29 Meikle rifled the ball home from 12 yards in the right of the area to give the home side the lead (0-1, 29 mins)
Stohrer combined well with Kelly to set the latter up on 34 but he scuffed his shot wide of the near post from a few yards out.
Cunnington was blocked by Jemson on 37 and set up another Poppies freekick on the right which was defended strongly as Cunnington tried to scoop it goalward and Tamworth broke through Waite but he was ran into a crowded box and the attack broke down.
One minute added time was shown but injury to Cunnington extended the half a little longer and the home side kept possession until the whistle blew.
HT: KETTERING TOWN 1 0 TAMWORTH
Concannon replaced Lait before the second half got underway and on 48 a header back into the box was met by an overhead kick from Waite, forcing White into his first save of the game to prevent the equaliser.
After a flurry of attacking play from The Lambs, Kettering forced a corner on the left and on 54 Hoenes picked the ball up from a Cunnington pass and advanced into the box.
He took it around Simpson but was tripped by his trailing leg and the keeper picked up a booking.
The penalty was rolled home past Simpson by Holman on 55 and doubled the Poppies advantage (0-2, 55 mins)
Tamworth were awarded a penalty on 58 when Taylor was upended in the box by Stanley.
Smith set it up on the spot and it was well saved by White but Maphosa raced in to fire home his third in four games from close range (1-2, 58 mins)
Waite was played into the box by Verma on the hour and forced a corner with his low shot towards the left hand post but the flagkick went long and was cleared to the halfway line.
Waite tried to lift a bouncing ball over the keeper on 63 but White was equal to it.
At the other end 65 Gough headed a goalbound header off the line after a smart save at the feet of the Kettering attackers saw the ball pop up invitingly and seemingly set up to extend the home sides lead.
Simpson did well again when Hoenes fed the ball through to Holman in the right and he prevented the shot and cross by making himself unpassable so the forward blasted high and wide of the mark.
Maphosa then picked up a booking for a foul on Stohrer on the Kettering left by the halfway line on 75.
On 83, Hoenes raced through and past Jemson but the Lambs defender pulled him back and brought him down so there was no option for the referee to send him off and leave The Lambs a man short for the second successive game.
Hoenes strode past the makeshift Lambs defence of Smith and Kettle on 85 and fired low past Simpson but his shot came back off the post and Tamworth survived.
Taylor picked up a booking as three minutes added time came into view and when Kelly-Evans caught Maphosa on 92 it earned the Kettering man a booking too shortly before the final whistle blew.
Simpson, Green K, Gough, Maphosa, Kettle, Jemson, Waite, Verma, Smith, Taylor, Lait (Concannon HT)
Subs: Shaw, Jeynes, Mpofu, Hayden
YC: Simpson 54, Maphosa 75, Taylor 90
RC: Jemson 83
Kettering Town Team:
White, Stohrer Richens, Miekle, Holman, Hoenes, Kelly-Evans, Kelly, Towers, Stanley, Cunnington (Solkhon 77)
Subs: Toseland, O’Connor, Milnes, Graham
YC: Kelly-Evans 90
Referee: Mr. S. Richardson