Kettering ran out easy 3-1 winners, in the end, against spirited opposition, Southend Manor, as they progressed to the first round proper of the FA Cup with Budweiser. Despite an early goal from Leon McKenzie being pegged back by Manor’s Max Kent just before half time, two goals from substitute, Jean-Paul Marna in the second half sealed the win. The final score-line could have been more as the Poppies completely dominated the second period.
12 Laurie Walker
2 Phil Ifil
3 Sol Davis (Captain)
5 Djoumin Sangare
7 Moses Ashikodi (10 Jean-Paul Marna 46)
11 Marcus Kelly
14 Leon McKenzie (8 Aman Verma 62)
16 Stephen Meecham (22 Jaime Navarro 85)
20 David Bridges
34 Josh Dawkin
35 Moses Swaibu
31 Aldi Haxia (G/K)
39 Robbie Dance
Yellow Cards: None
1 Adam Seal
2 Ricky Allen
3 Max Kent
4 Terry Griffiths (Captain)
5 Brad Vaughan (16 Andy Merry 85)
6 Jay Smith
7 Dan Stanley
8 Ben Britnell (18 Connor Lane 88)
9 Wilf Msiska
10 Gary Patterson
11 Tom Hollingsworth (12 George Whitby 80)
14 Ben Habberley
15 David East
17 David Tubbs
19 Karl Read
Yellow cards: Allen,24.
Kettering were able to include Moses Swaibu and Leon Mckenzie- with Josh Dawkin also allowed to play, courtesy of his parent club.Jean-Paul Marna was fit enough for the bench. Southend were at full strength and were trying to maintain their unbeaten run of games stretching back to July.
It was nearly a dream start for the visitors in the 4thminute as the rotund Gary Patterson latched onto a ball down the centre and as Laurie Walker came off his line, the left foot strike went the wrong side of the right post.
The Poppies went ahead just four minutes later. A short corner between Marcus Kelly and Josh Dawkin saw the ball worked through for Leon McKenzie who placed his left foot shot inside the right post. Stephen Meecham got in a couple of efforts, the first was wide, and the second blocked, and from another short corner, this time on the left, Moses Ashikodi fired over.
Dawkin then found room on the left but his effort was just wide of the left upright. Manor did get upfield and Tom Hollingsworth forced his way through on the right and Walker made a routine save.
Phil Ifil’s cross was headed wide by Ashikodi and then Ifil’s 30 yard fee kick was well plucked out from the top corner by keeper Adam Seal.
The visitors’ scored an unlikely, and fortunate, equaliser on 42 minutes as Max Kent’s left-footed free kick from the right was dropped into his own net by Walker.
Kettering Town 1 - 1 Southend Manor
Jean-Paul Marna replaced Ashikodi immediately on the restart as Kettering started off with a much quicker tempo. Dawkin drifted past three players and his shot was blocked for a fruitless corner. However, on 48 minutes, Kettering took the lead with a lovely goal. Kelly, on the left played the ball through to McKenzie, and his flick inside to Marna saw a beautiful low right foot shot curled inside Seal’s left upright.
Kettering were having all the possession although striker Wilf Msiska fired well over the bar from distance on 58 minutes. The next minute saw the Poppies go 3-1 up. McKenzie’s left foot strike took a wicked deflection off of a defender and Marna reacted quickly to force the ball in past Seal.
Again Manor tried to get out of their half as Jay Smith blazed the ball into the stand. On 66 minutes, Seal made a great save- diving to his left to deny Dawkin after Marna set up the chance. Then from Dawkin’s cross Jimmy Sangare headed over.
As Kettering totally dominated possession and territory, Marna shot narrowly wide after good play by Kelly. Visiting skipper, Terry Griffiths, blocked Dawkin’s shot with a suspicion of an arm after 78 minutes and in the next minute, substitute Aman Verma rattled the bar with a shot. From the rebound, Marna shot straight at seal.
With the visitors just about out on their feet, Kettering could have added to their tally, only to see Dawkin’s shot go over the bar. Then Marna also fired over on the turn. The last real effort saw Kelly’s cross met by Meecham and his effort went the wrong side of the post.
All credit to the brave Southend Manor team, but a hungry Kettering Town team completed another thoroughly professional performance and the first round draw on Monday is eagerly awaited.
Kettering Town 3 - 1 Southend Manor
Attendance: 987 (Away fans 146 )
Klondike Winning Number (£190) Winner: 091382 not claimed (sold on Dale Roberts Terrace)
The Associate Directors Poppies Man of the Match : Jean-Paul Marna