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Tuesday 4th November – Kettering Town 4 – 1 Thurrock
Setanta Shield – 7:45pm
There are 30 league places between Kettering Town and Thurrock and it showed as the Blue Square Premier Division leaders ran out comfortable 4-1 winners of the Third Round Setanta Shield tie at Rockingham Road.
It was Chris Beardsley who had the first opportunity of the game just before the quarter of an hour mark, heading a Chris Arthur cross into the hands of Thurrock goalkeeper Joe Woolley.
Thurrock’s first chance occurred twenty minutes in, when Danny Hart crossed to Leon McKenzie who headed the ball passed Lee Harper and into the net only to be given off side
The deadlock was broken 34 minutes in by Kettering winger Craig Westcarr. Brett Solkhon delivered an excellent in-swinging cross from the left and Westcarr drifted in from the right, before directing the ball with his head into the corner of the net.
Kettering continued to pressurise the Thurrock defence, with Solkhon in the thick of it. After playing a one-two with Chris Arthur, Solkhon’s shot was blocked by Thurrock’s Mark Wright and the looping deflection was well saved by Joe Woolley.
As half time approached Westcarr swung a cross in towards Iyseden Christie, who managed to volley the ball. The resulting effort struck the Thurrock woodwork for the second time in the half.
The first chance of the second half fell to Thurrock striker Craig Hughes. Hughes attempted to loop a header, from winger Fola Orilonishe’s cross, over Lee Harper, but the ball went over the cross bar.
On the hour mark Thurrock winger Fola Orilonishe almost grabbed an equaliser when he cut inside running at Tommy Jazsczun. Orilonishe shot early, low and hard towards the near post, but Harper was positioned well to make the save and hold onto the ball. Soon after Kettering did finally double their lead when Westcarr’s corner was swung in, with Solkhon on the end of it, powering a header past Woolley.
Kettering all but sealed the game, when Chris Beardsley grabbed the third goal, with just 15 minutes remaining. Tommy Jazsczun cleverly played substitute Jean-Paul Marna a through ball down the left flank. Marna intelligently looked up and spotted the run of Beardsley, squaring the ball to the striker, who fired home from close range.
However three minutes later Thurrock pulled a gaol back. Hart played a first-rate cross field ball towards the run of striker McKenzie, goal side of Kettering’s defence. McKenzie took a touch and set himself before firing past Harper, bringing the score to 3-1.
Some excellent saves by Woolley kept the score at 3-1. However Kettering added their fourth and final goal. It was scored by Solkhon grabbing his second of the game, from a Westcarr cross, again with a header.