Cup clash is perfect for Poppies' return to action

Kettering Town manager Marcus Law and head coach John Ramshaw
Kettering Town manager Marcus Law and head coach John Ramshaw

Kettering Town head coach John Ramshaw believes tonight’s (Tuesday) BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup clash at AFC Rushden & Diamonds is the perfect match to return to action in.

The Poppies haven’t played since they claimed a dramatic 4-3 success at Farnborough to maintain their lofty position in the Evo-Stik South League Premier.

And while the league campaign is the big priority for boss Marcus Law and his staff, Ramshaw insists this evening’s second-round match at Hayden Road is important to the club.

“It doesn’t matter what competition it is, when it’s a local derby it’s always important to both clubs because of that local pride,” Ramshaw said.

“I am sure both will field strong sides for it and it’s a nice came for us to get back into action with.

“Both teams are involved in potential promotion races this season but this is a game we will all want to win and that’s how we will approach it.

“It’s been nice to have a bit of a break, it’s been a hectic start with so many matches already played.

“And this is a massive game for us to get back at it.”

While the Poppies are likely to field a strong side, they will have four key players missing.

Gary Mulligan is set to be rested as he recovers from a hamstring injury he picked up in the win at Farnborough while top scorer Aaron O’Connor and midfielder Michael Richens are both suspended.

Right-back Durrell Berry is now a long-term absentee after rupturing his Achilles tendon.

And Ramshaw added: “I don’t think Mullers will feature, there is a bit of a damage in the hamstring and we want to give our physio the best chance of having the player fit for a big game at the weekend.

“We are also without Aaron and Michael and obviously it was dreadful news about Durrell.

“He has been one of our most consistent performers this season and he is a lovely lad so for that to happen to him after he had done so well to come back from the break he suffered at Torquay is devastating for him.”