Champions Poppies must not let the season ‘peter out’

Kettering Town celebrated winning the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central title on Monday and head to Barton Rovers this weekend. Picture by Martin Pulley
Kettering Town celebrated winning the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central title on Monday and head to Barton Rovers this weekend. Picture by Martin Pulley
0
Have your say

Thomas Baillie insists Kettering Town can’t let their season “peter out” despite their mission being accomplished with three games to spare.

The dust is beginning to settle after the Poppies sealed the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central title on Monday.

They were well beaten 3-0 at Rugby Town but Aylesbury’s 0-0 draw with Aylesbury United proved to be enough to confirm Kettering as champions.

The Poppies are now preparing for a trip to another of the play-off contenders Barton Rovers tomorrow (Saturday).

And joint-boss Baillie is hoping that, with the pressure now off, his players will ensure their campaign finishes on a high note.

“We can’t just let the season peter out,” he said.

“It’s great to have won the league and, in the end, it has been pretty comfortable.

“But we don’t want that to be the end of it.

“We have three games left and we want to win them all.

“Barton beat us twice last season, we beat them earlier in this campaign and we want to do it again.

“They are chasing a play-off place and it will be the same when we play Bedworth next weekend.

“These are big games that we want to win.

“Fans are still going to be paying their money and they will want their team to turn up and play well.

“This is probably the first time this season where the pressure is off us.

“We will be able to tell the players to go out and enjoy it and hopefully that’s what will happen.

“And it may also be an opportunity for some of the lads who have not played as much recently to get some more minutes under their belts and show what they can do.”

The Poppies are likely to be without right-back James Clifton after he suffered an injury in the loss at Rugby.

It was initially feared he had broken his collarbone.

But Baillie has now confirmed it was a muscular problem, although Clifton is more likely to be fit for next weekend’s home clash with Bedworth United.