Rollins marks return with a goal as Boston United trample the Poppies

Jay Rollins.
Jay Rollins.

Kettering Town 0 Boston United 2

(Jay Rollins 48, Sam Cartwright (OG) 62)

Jay Rollins marked his return to the Boston United side by scoring his first league goal of the season.

Kettering Town’s Sam Cartwright added a comical own goal to secure the Pilgrims’ first victory on the road as Craig Elliott’s side kept their third consecutive clean sheet.

That’s now 280 minutes and seven points since letting in that third at Gloucester on August 24, which now feels something of a distant memory.

With Rollins and Jordan Thewlis both back from suspension, Rollins replaced Jordan Adebayo-Smith while Thewlis was named on the bench.

The two opponents sized each other up with speculative shots early on, Dominic Knowles with a couple for United and Daniel Nti trying his luck for Town.

The hard, bobbly pitch added an air of mystery to each attack, at times breaking down moves for both sides,

But it almost came to Andi Thanoj’s aid when his 20-yarder skipped up in front of Paul White, but the Poppies keeper adjusted himself to save.

As Boston got a foothold in the game they struggled to find that final ball that would unlock the Town defence, ex-Pilgrim Ben Milnes lashing well over at the other end on the stroke of half time.

Less that four minutes into the second half Rollins put the Pilgrims ahead, blasting a close-range effort into the net after Tom Platt’s header from a deep Nicky Walker corner rebounded off the bar.

Peter Crook kept his side in front by denying Lindon Meikle with his frame before United made it two in fortuitous circumstances.

Walker’s punted ball saw Sam Cartwright bizarrely opt to loop a header back towards goal, over keeper White and into the unguarded net.

Luke Shiels went close to forcing home Walker’s free kick before Meikle’s drive was deflected wide of the Pilgrims’ goal.

Brett Solkhon should have reduced the arrears when Crook’s clearance was charged down by Nti. But with just the keeper to beat he rushed his effort, the strike clearing the stadium.

KETTERING: White, Stohrer, Brighton, McGrath, Cartwright (Vidal 68), Skarz, Meikle, Milnes, Nti, Carta (Solkhon 68), Kelly; Subs (not used): Graham, Hodge, Nimely.

UNITED: Crook, Byrne, Whittle, Thanoj, Ainge, Shiels, Platt, Abbott, Knowles (Clare 81), Walker (Thewlis 74), Rollins (Jackson 84); Subs (not used): Adebayo-Smith, Willis.

REF: Ritchie Watkins.

ATT: 835.