Up until the last few seconds we had dominated the game without scoring, so we wouldn't have made it anyway, but then Kettering decided to rub salt in our wounds by scoring in the final minute of the game. Our dream for that season was over but at least Stevenage didn't eventually go up either. Torquay Utd did. We know now that this could be our year and we have a more realistic chance of promotion.
Our recent form has been top notch and we seem to have come good once more at just the right time. Last Mondays incredible last few minutes against Newport County proved that and was merely the cherry on the icing of our three previous wins at home to Darlington and then away at Grimsby and Southport.
Nick Wrights (left) astounding hat trick must have surely gone a long way to placing him in the annals of legendary moments at Aggborough. He ever smiling striker came on mid way through the second half and then, with just four minutes of the game left and the Harriers trailing 2-0 and looking down and out, we were awarded a penalty and a chance to get a consolation goal. Up steps Wrighty and scores. Still game over? no way because Nick had the bit between his teeth and then went on score twice more and give us a game and a result to remember.
From the good to the bad. During the game Jack Byrne went off injured and reports say that he has pulled his hamstring so will play no further part in the next three games. There is a possibility that he could be ok should we reach the play-offs but nothing is certain.
Also missing, possibly for the remainder of the season too, is Michael Briscoe. His back injury has been going on for some time now and looks no nearer to sorting out. Steve Guinan is another fresh doubt too. He had minor surgery on his nose during the week so may not be risked. We will have Kyle Storer back from suspension though.
Our opponents Kettering were relegated a couple of games back and they're now playing for fun. If you can call the possibility of there not being a club in it's current form next season and also playing in a dead mans stadium at Nene Park, the old Rushden & Diamonds ground.
Already crippled by debt and in-fighting someone thought it would be a good idea to take over a white elephant and turn it into an albatross. It was haemorrhaging money when Rushden were there and there's no reason why it would save Kettering money by being there. They would have been better off staying at their old ground, Rockingham Road, for a longer time.
They'll be without their goalkeeper Kelvin Jack for the rest of the season after he deliberately handled outside the area at Cambridge on Monday. He did the same against us last season and got away with it, .
Managerless Town have been looked after by their Bridgnorth born defender, Ashley Westwood, since January when Mark Cooper returned to the club and then walked out again after just one week. He hasn't seemed to have worked the miracle that was needed and will probably be replaced during the close season.
He didn't play at Cambridge on Monday due to a red card in the previous game, they have had seventeen red cards this season, but he will play against us. As will the reserve keeper Laurie Walker in place of Jack.
As I said at the start this could be seen as an easy three points for us and, on paper,so it should be. I think that once we score the floodgates should open but the only problem with that is that it might all happen in the last five minutes again when we'd rather have them in the first half.
Just as long as Nick Wright is on hand again.
Photo © KHFC
Lyness, Breeden, L Vaughan, Mike Williams, Jones, Bradley, Marshall, Demetriou, Storer, Vincent, Cresswell, Hankin, Guinan, N Wright, Thompson-Brown, Matt, Johnson, Malbon, Gittings, Rowe.
Kettering Town from:
Walker, P Ifil, Davis, Sangare, J Ifil, Verma, Dobson, Van Engel, Kelly, Westwood, Ralph , Mills, Bridges, Navarro, Noubissié, Wyke, Ford, Gray, Joyce, York, Petranyuk.
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