Biggleswade Town found league leaders Kettering simply too strong on Saturday and fell to a 3-1 defeat at Latimer Park.
They were hit by a double late in the opening half. A third shortly after the restart sealed a Kettering victory in front of a 600 strong crowd although the Waders did fight back and grab a consolation with 15 minutes to go.
Waders keeper and former Kettering loanee Liam Gooch was off his line early to smother the ball from the advancing Matty Stevens. The homew side did have the ball in the net soon after but it was disallowed for a foul.
The home side’s Ben Milnes had to be stretchered off and taken to hospital with a leg injury after a collision with Gavin Hoyte. This saw former Wader Rhys Hoenes introduced to the fray.
Biggleswade’s first real chance came midway through the first half but Tony Burnett’s strike went well over.
There were shouts for penalties at either end. Kalern Thomas for Kettering went over and then Liam Brooks at the other end – but the referee waved both appeals away.
Kettering went in front eight minutes before the break when Hoenes crossed for Stevens to finish. And a killer second came right on half time as Thomas threaded a ball through and Howe’s precise cross allowed O’Connor an easy finish.
Brooks almost pulled a goal back in inury time but he was denied at close range by Paul White.
The Poppies grabbed their third on 49 minutes when a corner was only half cleared and Orrin Pendley fired a low shot past Gooch.
Biggleswade did come back into the game. Shane Hill saw his low shot blocked and then Burnett had an incisive run past three defenders, forcing White into a save. They finally pulled one back when Greg Kaziboni got away down the right and crossed for substitute Craig Daniel to head home.
Kettering were awarded a penalty with ten minutes to go. Rene Howe took it – but Gooch saved and also stopped Lindon Meikle’s follow up shot.
Waders host Basingstoke on Saturday before facing Biggleswade FC in the Beds Senior Cup on Tuesday.
BIGGLESWADE TOWN: 1 Liam Gooch 2 Jordan Patrick 3 Lucas Perry 4 Robbie Parker 5 Connor Hall (Captain) 6 Gavin Hoyte 7 Greg Kaziboni 8 Shane Hill (16 Craig Daniel,68) 9 Jack Bowen (14 George Bailey,85) 10 Liam Brooks 11 Tony Burnett (12 Morgan Penfold,72) Unused Substitutes: 15 Sam Payton 17 Mark Coulson Yellow Cards: Hill,15;Perry,39;Patrick,82.