Marcus Law knows Kettering Town can’t afford to take rock-bottom Cinderford Town lightly at Latimer Park tomorrow (Saturday).
The Poppies will be back on home soil after picking up just their second success on their own patch in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division last weekend when Rene Howe’s second-half goal sealed a 1-0 victory over Dorchester Town.
Kettering missed the chance to follow that up in midweek with their trip to leaders Leamington being postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Now Law’s men are gearing up for two more home matches with tomorrow’s clash being followed by a midweek date with Frome Town next Tuesday night.
The Poppies have some work to do if they are to force their way into the play-off reckoning while Cinderford, who were eventually forced to take promotion having initially refused it after winning the Division One South & West title last season, have struggled.
Their 2-0 defeat at Dorchester on Tuesday made it 10 losses from 10 away matches this season but their last home game saw them beat third-placed Chippenham Town 3-2.
And Law, who was pleased to see his team scrap for their win last weekend, is remaining cautious about tomorrow’s opponents.
“You can’t take anyone lightly in this division,” the Poppies boss said.
“Cinderford have struggled but they have recently got a new manager and with that will come new players who will have a different mindset.
“They beat Chippenham who are going well so we are expecting a tough game.
“It’s at home, which brings its own challenges for us and I am sure they will come here and make it very difficult.
“We seem to have a bit of an edge about us away from home and if you look at the respective home and away league tables, it’s remarkable where we find ourselves in those. It’s not something I have come across before.
“We spoke as a group on the pitch before the Dorchester game about what the issues may be but perhaps it is the case that we must realise there are times when you can’t go and blow teams away and you have to grind results out.
“That’s what should have happened against Redditch (when Kettering lost 2-1) but it is what happened against Dorchester.
“I felt we had more chances than them and we certainly piled the pressure on but, by the same token, they have had a deflected shot off the bar, our goalkeeper has made a couple of saves and, of course, they have missed a penalty.
“I think our players are realising that you do have to grind and scrap sometimes and it was pleasing to see them do that last weekend.
“We got a bit of luck with the penalty miss but I’d argue that we have been due that at home.”