Shropshire Star

AFC Telford United 1-1 Kettering - Report

AFC Telford United made it five games unbeaten as they played out a cagey draw with fellow strugglers Kettering Town.


A goal each in the first half was enough for both sides to cancel each other out in the National League North, on a freezing cold night in Shropshire.

Sam Bennett gave the visitors the lead in the 17th minute getting down the side of the Bucks' defence and calmly finishing past Joe Young.

Bucks had chances to equalise, both falling to Harry Flowers from set pieces, one was cleared off the line, and the other hit the side netting.

The visitors did look dangerous on the break, but Bucks pegged them back on the stroke of half-time when Robbie Evans' long-range strike went under goalkeeper Harrison Foulkes.

Brendon Daniels tested Foulkes from a distance and substitute Kai Williams hit the side netting in the second half.

The visitors came on strong at the end with Tyrone Lewthwaite going close on a couple of occasions but there was very little to split the two teams and a draw was a fair reflection of the game.


AFC Telford United arrived at the New Bucks head buoyed by their away win at Buxton at the weekend.

It was the Buck's first win on the road for 784 days - a quite remarkable stat - and it maintained their recent turnaround in results - they are unbeaten in their last four league matches.

The Telford boss was able to name an unchanged side from the one that won on Saturday - the first time since March a manager had been able to do this at the club.

Jamie Allen has been missing from Buck's squad for a while as he has been struggling with breathing difficulties, but the winger was able to take his place on the bench for the clash with Kettering - Brad Bood was the man who made way for him.

Prince Ekpolo (14) (AFC Telford United Midfielder) coming through midfield about to pass out to the wing while being pressured by Kettering Rhys Sharp

With the vast majority of National League North games falling foul to the cold weather, it became another great opportunity for the Bucks to continue to make up ground on those teams above them in the table.

It was a quiet opening 10 minutes in Shropshire, Robbie Evans saw a shot from distance go harmlessly wide as he tried to test out Foulkes in the Kettering goal.

At the other end, Kettering's Bennett saw a deflected effort claimed easily by Joe Young.

And it was that man Bennett who gave the visitors the lead, he was played in down the side of the Telford defence, and he placed it into the far corner of the net past a helpless Young.

Telford almost responded immediately, when Harry Flowers met a Byron Moore corner, his header looked destined for goal, but it was cleared off the line.

Bucks pressed for an equaliser, but when they lost the ball, they looked very vulnerable on the counter-attack.

Lewis Salmon (22) (AFC Telford United Striker on Loan from Nottingham Forest) bringing the ball into the Kettering box

The visitors went close to doubling their lead just before the break when Bennett went inches wide, it was nice interplay down the right involving Keaton Ward, and the goal scorer's left-footed effort looked to be sneaking in the far corner, but it went narrowly wide.

Telford's most likely route to goal looked like it was from a corner, Brendon Daniels the man to deliver for Flowers to meet it again, only for his header to hit the side netting.

But on the stroke of half-time, Robbie Evans equalised for the hosts.

He picked up the ball on the edge of the box, and his powerful effort went under Foulkes in the Kettering goal to bring the Bucks level.

It was an even start to the second half, Byron Moore went close when he shot from outside the box, but it was easily claimed by Foulkes above his head, and Flowers was forced to clear danger from a dangerous corner from the visitors.

Wilkin turned to his bench introducing Allen and Kai Williams, and it almost had an immediate impact.

Josh O’Brien (19) (AFC Telford United Defender on loan from Salford City) bringing the ball through midfield looking to get the ball into Kettering’s box

Adam Livingstone played a tidy ball through to Brendon Daniels who got a shot away, but Foulkes got down well to make the save, and Moore could not get on the end of the rebound.

Kettering did threaten on occasion, Tyrone Lewthwaite, who came on for the goalscorer Bennett, blazed over, and then moments later he went close again when he turned Decarrey Sheriff's near post cross into the side netting.

In the end, neither side did enough to win the clash and a draw was a fair result.

Bucks: Young, Livingstone, O’Brien, Evans (Allen 68), Flowers, Nolan, Rowe, Ekpolo, Moore, Salmon (Williams 70), Daniels (Chong 86).

Subs: Allen, Green, Williams, Chong, Blissett.

Kettering: Foulkes, Maguire, Gascoigne, Bennett (Lewthwaite 78), Stohrer, Ward (Sheriff 86), Sharp, Cooper, Myles, Forsyth, Flanagan.

Subs: White, Hogg, Hill, Sheriff, Lewthwaite.

Attendance: 1,038