ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday, November 13th 2021
KETTERING TOWN 4-0 BLYTH SPARTANS
Blyth Spartans suffered their eighth defeat on the bounce following a 4-0 defeat at Kettering Town, as Aaron Cunningham was sent off in the closing stages.
Cunningham’s red card compounded a miserable afternoon at Latimer Park for Michael Nelson’s men after a brace from Connor Kennedy and goals from Callum Powell and Gerry McDonagh.
Nelson handed a debut to young defender Ben Milburn, while Cunningham started in midfield on his fourth debut for the club.
There was just six minutes on the clock when Kettering took the lead. Powell raced in behind the Spartans defence before side-footing his shot past Alex Mitchell.
The hosts controlled the early stages but almost gifted Spartans an equaliser when goalkeeper Rhys Davies’ clearance was closed down by JJ O’Donnell. It didn’t quite roll goalwards, however.
Kettering won several corners in the first-half, one of which Rhys Evans bravely cleared off the line as McDonagh tried to poke the ball home.
A five-minute stoppage occurred on the half-hour mark when referee Jonathan Maskrey limped off. One of his assistants replaced him in the middle.
That halted Kettering’s momentum but they remained largely comfortable. The closest Blyth came to levelling was through O’Donnell’s header that went wide in injury time.
Nelson’s side were undone by another early goal after the break as Kennedy doubled the hosts’ lead on 51 minutes.
A drop ball was quickly picked up and delivered by Harrison Neal, which Kennedy volleyed emphatically into the far corner.
Spartans struggled to create much going forward. Connor Thomson was introduced to inject pace up top but Kettering put the game out of sight before the attacker got started as Kennedy headed home his second from a corner.
Just as Nelson subbed on Robbie Dale and Corey McKeown, McDonagh scored a fourth for the Poppies after latching onto a pass from Powell.
Last-ditch defending from Connor Johnson prevented O’Donnell from netting a certain consolation for Spartans at the back post.
O’Donnell was then denied again when fingertips from Davies in the Poppies goal stopped the effort from nestling into the far corner.
Kettering searched for a fifth in the closing stages. Substitute Jordan Crawford missed a sitter from six yards out and soon headed over from a similar position.
Cunningham was then red carded in the 90th minute after clashing with Kettering right-back Connor Barrett.
Kettering Town: Davies, Barrett, Sharpe, O’Neill, Johnson, Smith, Powell (Crawford 80), Kennedy, McDonagh (Perry, 81), Sherif, Neal. Subs not used Stohrer, Ofosu, Brown, Perry.
Goals: Powell (6), Kennedy (51, 67), McDonagh (71)
Blyth Spartans: Mitchell, Evans, Lees, Buddle, Milburn, Watson, Cunningham, Hickey (Thomson, 55), Deverdics (McKeown, 68), O’Donnell, McNall (Dale, 68). Subs not used: Byrne, Painter.
Referee: Jonathan Maskrey