Baillie relieved as Poppies get the job done

Joint-boss Thomas Baillie was relieved to see Kettering Town get off to a winning start as they beat Aylesbury United 2-1

Joint-boss Thomas Baillie was relieved to see Kettering Town get off to a winning start as they beat Aylesbury United 2-1

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Thomas Baillie felt it was very much a case of “job done” for Kettering Town as they kicked off the new season with a 2-1 success over Aylesbury United at Latimer Park.

Andy Gooding’s penalty gave the Poppies a 1-0 lead at half-time but the visitors responded with a spot-kick of their own after the break before James Clifton headed home a Gooding corner 17 minutes from the end to seal the points for the Southern League Division One Central title favourites.

Kettering weren’t helped by the loss of defender Henry Eze in the warm-up due to a hamstring problem as he was replaced by Dan Crowie.

But Baillie and Scott Machin were able to celebrate a victory in their first league game as joint-managers of the club.

And, within his assessment, Baillie also singled out goalkeeper Jamie McAlindon for praise after he was given the nod ahead of Nick Bennion.

The Poppies joint-boss said: “It is a relief to get off to a winning start.

“It certainly wasn’t convincing for us but I thought we were better as the game progressed.

“Jamie was chosen to play and that decision paid off because he was superb for us.

“Both goalkeepers had saves to make but the game was probably a bit too open for our liking in the first half.

“You have to give Aylesbury credit because they came and had a real go at us and they have some very good players.

“We know we need to be sharper and we made mistakes that we hopefully won’t be making in a few weeks.

“But we got the job done. The aim was to win the game and we did it. That is what people will remember.”

Baillie, meanwhile, confirmed midfielder Chris Logan has joined ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division side Deeping Rangers while recent signing Avelino Vieira has linked up with Peterborough Northern Star to get some games under his belt.

Logan played a key role in the Poppies’ charge to the play-offs last season but Baillie revealed the club and player had parted on good terms and that Kettering will be retaining his Southern League registration, should the situation change over the next few months.

“Chris is a great lad and I like him as a footballer and as a person,” Baillie explained.

“We have had a chat and he knows we have strong competition for places in the midfield.

“Chris wants to be playing regularly and that’s what he needs so I think going to Deeping will be good for him.

“But we have agreed with him that we will retain his Southern League registration because things can change quickly.

“He will go and get the games he needs and we will see how things develop.”