Effort pleases Poppies boss Thomas

Action from Kettering Town's 1-1 draw with Romulus in the FA Trophy. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Action from Kettering Town's 1-1 draw with Romulus in the FA Trophy. Pictures by Alison Bagley
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Dean Thomas praised the effort of his Kettering Town players, although he was disappointed not to get the job done at the first attempt against Romulus at Latimer Park.

The Poppies recovered from a sluggish first-half display to earn a 1-1 draw in the FA Trophy preliminary round clash thanks to Chimdi Akubuine’s first goal for the club.

Action from Kettering Town's 1-1 draw with Romulus in the FA Trophy. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Action from Kettering Town's 1-1 draw with Romulus in the FA Trophy. Pictures by Alison Bagley

There was a somewhat subdued atmosphere around Latimer Park with the club’s defining day in court looming on Monday when they will appeal the decision to wind them up over the £58,000 debt owed to Rushden & Diamonds (2008) Ltd.

It means there are doubts over whether Tuesday’s replay with Romulus.

But Thomas, as ever, was keen to focus on the football and he was pleased with the way his team reacted in the second half.

He said: “We just didn’t seem to get going in the first half. Without playing badly, we didn’t have a spark about us. The goal upset us and it was a poor one to concede.

Action from Kettering Town's 1-1 draw with Romulus in the FA Trophy. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Action from Kettering Town's 1-1 draw with Romulus in the FA Trophy. Pictures by Alison Bagley

“But we came out well in the second and we took control. We used the ball well and we passed it well. “We created chances but we maybe lacked a bit of composure in front of goal. The opportunities were there to win the game but we haven’t taken them and putting the ball in the net has been a bit of a problem for us all season.

“We have centre-forwards who have good track records and when the goals come for them, hopefully there will be a flurry of them.

“But I can’t fault the effort. I thought they worked hard and we played with a very good tempo in the second half, which was a bit too much for Romulus towards the end.

“Over the whole 90 minutes, I thought we were the better side and deserved to win the game. But we have to go and do it again on Tuesday.”

Action from Kettering Town's 1-1 draw with Romulus in the FA Trophy. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Action from Kettering Town's 1-1 draw with Romulus in the FA Trophy. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Thomas, meanwhile, was full of praise for the 561 Poppies supporters who turned up for the clash at Latimer Park.

They, like everyone else at the club, will be waiting to see what the outcome from Monday’s appeal is and the Kettering manager was disappointed his team couldn’t provide a victory to lift the spirits.

“The crowd were brilliant again and they were trying to suck the ball into the net for us in the second half, he added.

“We play for the fans. Nearly 600 turned up again, which is fantastic and we are disappointed we couldn’t give them the win.”