Evo-Stik League Southern Kettering Town held their nerve to ensure end their season will end with silverware after coming from behind to beat Corby Town in the final of the Northamptonshire Senior Cup.
The Poppies left Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium on Tuesday night with the Hillier Cup after being made to battle all the way by an EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Premier Division side battling relegation and keen to impress a new caretaker manager Steve Kinniburgh in his first game at the helm.
Kettering Town manager Marcus Law, who urged his players to “put some positivity out there” before kick-off, saw them leave it late, Aaron O’Connor netting seven minutes from time after ex-Poppy Jason Lee had put the Steelmen ahead in the 65th minute. Full-back James Brighton stepped up in sudden death after going straight to penalties to dispatch the seventh Poppies pen after Lee missed his spot kick it seconds earlier to win it 7-6, pictured.
While the proud Poppies gave their man-of-the-match award to their whole team, Brighton was singled out in his report of the final by the Northants Telegraph’s Jon Dunham who wrote: “Cool as you like, not bad for someone who told me afterwards that he wasn’t keen on taking one!”
The Poppies became the fifth EVO-STIK League Southern club so far to win county silverware this season on the night alongside two other winners from the top flight after EVO-STIK League Southern Division One Central clubs Fleet Town and AFC Dunstable led the way last week with triumphs in the Northants Senior Cup and Bedfordshire Senior Cup competitions respectively.
In the climax of the Hertfordshire Senior Cup Hitchin Town inflicted more pain on relegated National League South outfit Bishop’s Stortford with a 2-1 win at the home of Hemel Hempstead Town while Jason Matthews celebrated signing off as manager of Weymouth by guiding the Terras to a 1-0 extra-time victory over Gillingham Town in the final of the Dorset Senior Cup at the Avenue Stadium.
The Poppies head to Stratford on Saturday in the EVO-STIK League Southern’s top flight before entertaining Cambridge city on Easter Monday in a 3pm kick-off.