Haran feels Poppies are ‘coming into their stride’

James Haran celebrates the first of his two goals during Kettering Town's 6-1 victory at Cirencester Town last weekend. Picture by Peter Short
James Haran celebrates the first of his two goals during Kettering Town's 6-1 victory at Cirencester Town last weekend. Picture by Peter Short
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James Haran believes Kettering Town are getting into their stride as they prepare for a big test at Slough Town this weekend.

The Australian-born defender, who signed for the Poppies during the summer, scored twice in last weekend’s fine 6-1 victory at Cirencester Town.

That win made it three in a row for Marcus Law’s men, who have suffered just one defeat in seven with their Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign finally showing signs of life after a frustratingly inconsistent start.

Now the Poppies are preparing for a big examination at second-placed Slough, who play on an artificial surface at their new Arbour Park home.

But 20-year-old Haran admits confidence is now high within the Kettering dressing-room.

“It feels like we are coming into our stride now,” he said.

“We had a rough start, which was disappointing but I think we are starting to show what we are capable of.

“We are confident we can beat any team in the league. But it’s results that tell the story.

“There have been so many games where we should have won but we have failed to take our chances.

“All of a sudden, we are in a much better place but we know we have to keep getting the job done.”

The Poppies made a stunning start at Cirencester last weekend. Goals from Rene Howe and Aaron O’Connor put them 2-0 up inside two minutes before Haran and James Brighton struck to make it 4-0 before the 20-minute mark.

Haran and Matthew Barnes-Homer were on target after the break as five of the Poppies’ goals came from set-pieces.

“It was great to start like that,” Haran added.

“We have been in situations where we have been on top in matches but not scored the goals at the right times.

“We came out and did that last weekend and we feel in control at the moment.

“We are looking a lot stronger and the only real frustrating thing last Saturday was the fact we didn’t keep a clean sheet.

“But from a personal point of view, it was great to get a couple of goals. I was feeling a hat-trick actually but it wasn’t to be!

“I like getting up there for set-pieces and I hope I can score a few more as the season goes on.”