Law pleased as Poppies lay a ‘good foundation’ with opening-day success

Liam Canavan, who opened the scoring, challenges Dorchester's Dory Yates during Kettering Town's 2-0 success on the opening day of the season. Pictures by Peter Short

Liam Canavan, who opened the scoring, challenges Dorchester's Dory Yates during Kettering Town's 2-0 success on the opening day of the season. Pictures by Peter Short

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Marcus Law believes Kettering Town’s opening-day success at Dorchester Town has given his team a “foundation” to build on.

Second-half goals from Liam Canavan and youngster Callum Westwood earned the Poppies a 2-0 victory in Dorset as they got their Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign off to a winning start.

Poppies boss Marcus Law watches on during his team's opening-day win

Poppies boss Marcus Law watches on during his team's opening-day win

It wasn’t a straightforward day for Law and his players as they and their supporters battled through heavy traffic to make it to the Avenue Stadium.

The Kettering squad arrived at the ground at 2.20pm, which resulted in a slightly later kick-off time.

But, unlike the first day of last season when a nightmare journey ended with a 1-0 loss to the eventual champions Poole Town, the Poppies turned in a solid display to wrap up three points.

“We knew the travelling was going to be difficult, we were unable to get the stopover and you don’t want to be leaving too early because you want the lads to have a good night’s sleep,” Law said.

Rene Howe shoots just over the bar during the first half of Kettering's win at Dorchester

Rene Howe shoots just over the bar during the first half of Kettering's win at Dorchester

“The positive is that we got to the ground earlier than we did at Poole but it was a difficult start and we felt we needed to ease our way into the game.

“Overall, I thought our experienced boys led the way and we looked solid and it has ended up being a good away performance.

“It’s nothing to get too carried away with but it’s certainly a good foundation.

“After the friendlies with Soham and Rugby we just needed to get back to being organised and we know we have to defend properly.

“If we do that, we know we have the quality in attack to take our half-chances.

“We kept it solid, we minimised the opposition and one quick throw-in from Rene has led to an excellently dispatched finish from Liam, which we know he is capable of.

“I look across my front two and my attacking midfield players and any one of them has got a goal in them.

“If we defend correctly and keep ourselves in games then we will always have moments.”

Law handed youngster Nathan Bobowicz his first senior start and he was later replaced by Westwood, who is the son of former Kettering player and manager Ashley.

And Westwood marked his debut by charging down home goalkeeper Shane Murphy’s clearance before rolling the ball into the empty net to wrap up the points.

“We were unfortunate not to come away with an early goal from Nathan on his debut,” Law said after Bobowicz missed a decent chance after just two minutes.

“He has had a great pre-season and it was nice to reward him. It’s a big jump for him and he still has a lot to learn but he did well.

“Then it was great endeavour and work-rate from Callum.

“He is quick, he’s brave and he’s got that Westwood determination. He took it very casually and I am very pleased for him.”

The Poppies will now prepare for their first home game of the season on Tuesday night when they take on one of last season’s play-off semi-finalists Leamington, who opened their campaign with a 3-1 home victory over Cirencester Town.