Bateman stays as Poppies bounce back

Michael Richens grabbed the winner for Kettering Town in their 2-1 friendly success at Coalville Town last night
Michael Richens grabbed the winner for Kettering Town in their 2-1 friendly success at Coalville Town last night
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Kettering Town received a double boost last night (Thursday).

Having suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Barwell on Tuesday, the Poppies got their pre-season campaign back on track with a 2-1 victory at Coalville Town.

But the good news continued after it was revealed during the game that highly-rated right-back Liam Bateman has committed himself to the club for the new Evo-Stik South League Premier campaign.

Bateman, who started his career at Aston Villa, was one of 42 non-League footballers who took part in Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy’s V9 academy during the summer.

But the 22-year-old is staying on for another campaign at Latimer Park and played in the majority of the game in Leicestershire last night.

The Poppies took the lead in the first half when Brett Solkhon headed home a Bateman corner.

The hosts hit the bar in the second period before former Corby Town striker Massiah McDonald brought them level.

However, midfielder Michael Richens grabbed his second goal of pre-season to earn Kettering the victory.

Law’s men play their penultimate pre-season friendly at Spalding United next Tuesday night.