Kettering Town 3 Banbury United 0
United are second best throughout to a very impressive Kettering side
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Kettering had the better of the early stages but it was as the quarter of an hour mark approached that they really began to put heavy pressure on Banbury. At this point a free-kick pumped in the Banbury penalty area and a couple of corners for Kettering were the prelude to them taking the lead in the 16th minute when the ball came in from the left and in a scramble Brett Solkhon knocked the ball home from close range.
Kettering would dominate the rest of the half. In the 26th minute a free-kick from the left saw Gary Mulligan head just wide. Four minutes later following another scramble deep in the Banbury penalty area Michael Richens shot a foot wide from just eight yards.
It looked a matter of time before Kettering increased their lead but Banbury held out to keep the deficit to a single goal at the interval.
Though Banbury were a little better in the early stages of the second half, Kettering continued to have the better of the game and certainly looked more likely to increase their lead than Banbury to equalise.
In the 64th minute, Banbury finally forced Paul White in the Kettering goal into making a save when George Nash’s 30 yard effort was parried away by the custodian before being cleared by a defender.
This was as good as it got for Banbury though as four minutes later a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area was superbly struck by Ben Milnes into the top corner of the net giving Jack Harding in the Banbury goal no chance.
Kettering wrapped up the scoring a minute into stoppage time when Rene Howe converted a spot-kick after Rhys Hoenes had been fouled.
Overall, Kettering were too good for Banbury on this evening and it was a comfortable and fully deserved three points for the Northamptonshire side who on this showing must be serious championship contenders
Kettering Town: Paul White, Durrell Berry (Liam Bateman 49), Ben Toesland, Brett Solkhon, Gary Mulligan, Michael Richens, Rhys Hoeness, Aaron O’Connor (Matthew Stevens 71), Rene Howe, Ben Milnes, Lindon Meikle (Ben Baker 87). Subs (not used): Gary Stohrer, Munashe Sundire.
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Charlie Hawtin, Tom Bradbury, George Nash, Jack Westbrook (Tom Winters 73), Luke Carnell, Jack Self (Ravi Shamsi 69), Darren Pond, Jefferson Louis, Conor McDonagh, Tom James (Marvin Martin 46). Subs (not used): Matt Peake-Pijnen, Leam Howards.