Crucial few weeks starts for Poppies at Kings Langley

James Brighton suffered a knee injury during Kettering Town's FA Trophy defeat at Witton Albion
James Brighton suffered a knee injury during Kettering Town's FA Trophy defeat at Witton Albion

Kettering Town’s full focus is now on the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.

The Poppies’ interest in the major knockout competitions was ended at the weekend as a stoppage-time goal saw them dumped out of the Buildbase FA Trophy in the second qualifying round as they went down 2-1 at lower-ranked Witton Albion.

With expectations high for a promotion push at the start of the season, Marcus Law’s men are well off the pace as they prepare to head to Kings Langley tonight (Tuesday).

The Poppies sit in 12th place, 11 points off the play-off places and they remain inconsistent with their performances as the defeat at Witton came just seven days after they had demolished St Ives Town 7-0 in the league.

Law revealed a “strong discussion” was held in the away dressing-room following Saturday’s loss and he knows the remainder of this month will be crucial in deciding in which direction the campaign will go from here with five games still to play in the final 15 days of November.

“It won’t be easy, Kings Langley have had a great result in the Trophy (they beat Enfield Town 1-0) on Saturday and it is a difficult place to play,” Law said.

“We have a lot of games this month and they are big ones because we need to get things going.

“We just have to concentrate on ourselves and make sure the team that started the first 20 minutes well on Saturday and the one that showed up at St Ives turns up in every game.

“There was a strong discussion after the game at the weekend because the difference between the two teams was that one of them carried out their game plan despite going a goal down and the other stopped what they were doing after the first 20 minutes.

“It’s up to us to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

The Poppies have a number of injury doubts with Rene Howe, who missed Saturday’s defeat, still struggling with a groin problem while James Brighton is set to sit out after twisting his knee at the weekend.

Aaron O’Connor is also doubtful after he was injured during the warm-up at Witton.