Baillie: Poppies didn’t help themselves

Action from Kettering Town's 3-1 defeat to Arlesey Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin
Action from Kettering Town's 3-1 defeat to Arlesey Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Thomas Baillie admitted Kettering Town “didn’t help themselves” as they slipped to a seventh successive defeat in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.

The rock-bottom Poppies who are quickly heading for relegation paid the price for a poor first-half display as Arlesey Town claimed a 3-1 success at Corby Town’s Steel Park stadium on Sunday.

Action from Kettering Town's 3-1 defeat to Arlesey Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Action from Kettering Town's 3-1 defeat to Arlesey Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Boss Baillie saw his team produce a much better display after the break and that was rewarded with a goal from defender Henry Eze.

But the damage had already been done and Baillie conceded the statistics against his team didn’t lie as they suffered defeat on a weekend when just about everyone above them picked up points to leave them a massive 19 adrift of safety with 15 games to play.

“We had the game filmed and I had someone keeping statistics for me and, in the first half alone, our back four gave the ball away on 29 occasions,” the Poppies boss said.

“You can’t do that at any level, let alone against a team that has a good chance of being in the promotion shake-up at the end of the season.

Action from Kettering Town's 3-1 defeat to Arlesey Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Action from Kettering Town's 3-1 defeat to Arlesey Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

“We didn’t start well and it wasn’t until we had a chat at half-time that we were able to see the good things the lads are capable of producing.

“We created chances in the second half and their goalkeeper has made a good save soon after we got the goal. If we had scored again quickly then we might have got something from it.

“We know we are up against it anyway. But we do have to try to make life a bit easier for ourselves. The players didn’t help themselves in the first half.”

The Poppies have little time to dwell on the defeat as they are back in action at Steel Park on Wednesday night with Weymouth the visitors.

And Baillie revealed that could be the last game for goalkeeper Yannick Nlate after he received an offer from a club at a higher level.

“Yannick has had an extremely good offer and he wants to play higher up,” Baillie added.

“I am certainly not going to stand in anyone’s way of doing that and we couldn’t get anywhere near what he has been offered even if we wanted to.

“I believe he should play on Wednesday night but we will be looking around and try to bring someone in, potentially on loan.

“We have Ash Talbot, who is more than capable of doing a job. But he is unavailable for the first two weekends in March, which I already knew about.

“So we will have a look and see what we can do about bringing another goalkeeper in.”