Law relishing a dramatic final day after Poppies’ stunning success

The Kettering Town players applaud their fans following the 7-0 demolition of Bideford at Latimer Park. Pictures by Peter Short
The Kettering Town players applaud their fans following the 7-0 demolition of Bideford at Latimer Park. Pictures by Peter Short

Kettering Town will travel to Dorchester Town tomorrow (Saturday) still with an outside chance of sneaking into the Evo-Stik Southern League play-offs.

A remarkable second half at Latimer Park last night saw the Poppies hammer seven goals past already-relegated Bideford to seal a 7-0 success in their last home game of the season.

The Poppies were in a hurry to score goals in the second half as they kept their slim play-off hopes alive

The Poppies were in a hurry to score goals in the second half as they kept their slim play-off hopes alive

The stunning success moved Marcus Law’s team above Weymouth on goal difference and they now sit in sixth place going into the final day of the campaign.

The Poppies are three points behind fifth-placed Leamington but have a better goal difference so a win at Dorchester and a defeat for the Brakes against fellow high-fliers Hungerford Town should see them secure an extended season.

It remains a big ask but boss Law paid tribute to his players for giving themselves a chance, a chance many thought they had squandered on more than one occasion.

“Anyone who came out of the Histon game (a 3-1 defeat at the end of February) would have been questioning and doubting it,” the Poppies boss said.

The Poppies fans were in buoyant mood after seeing their team hit seven second-half goals against Bideford

The Poppies fans were in buoyant mood after seeing their team hit seven second-half goals against Bideford

“The defeat to Bedworth last week hurt us and then we played well at Redditch on Monday but didn’t get the result.

“But fair play to the boys. They have given us everything all year.

“They have had questions placed on them but we are going into the last game of the season still with a chance of making the play-offs.

“But everything that can happen will only come to fruition if we win.

Ben Stephens, who hit Kettering's fifth goal, gets up for a header at Latimer Park

Ben Stephens, who hit Kettering's fifth goal, gets up for a header at Latimer Park

“The lesson out of last night is - what will be, will be. We will go out to Dorchester, enjoy ourselves and try to put a bit on a bit of a show.

“We will try to win the game and if the football Gods are with us then we might have an added week to the season.

“Dorchester will want to spoil the party, which is the professional thing to do and I wouldn’t expect anything else.

“Hopefully other teams will do the same and I am sure they will.

Rene Howe was on target as Kettering ran in seven second-half goals to beat Bideford 7-0 at Latimer Park

Rene Howe was on target as Kettering ran in seven second-half goals to beat Bideford 7-0 at Latimer Park

“Hungerford will want to be at home in the play-offs. They will want to give themselves the best opportunity for promotion.

“I am sure they will have a go but, at the same time, Leamington will want to make it easy for themselves. I am sure they will go for the win.

“It’s exciting stuff and we will look forward to it.”

Law revealed he and his players had what he described as “an influential chat” at half-time last night.

The Poppies were poor in the first period, which ended goalless but then blew the visitors away as James Brighton and Silvano Obeng both scored twice while Rene Howe, Ben Stephens and Ben Baker also got in on the act.

It was a stunning turnaround and Law added: “We had a very influential chat and it worked.

“It was tense in the first half, they were snatching at a few things and they didn’t look like they were enjoying themselves.

“They looked very worn and weary and they were hoping something would happen.

“But we saw totally the opposite in the second half. The first goal was going to be key and they went out there and enjoyed themselves and the technical players came to the fore.

“They have put themselves in the best position we could have asked for going into the game.”

Law also confirmed that he expects young frontman Obeng to be fit for tomorrow’s trip after he hobbled off with an ankle injury.