Machin happy to have a selection dilemma at Poppies

Ash Robinson impressed during Kettering Town's FA Cup success at Cogenhoe. Picture by Dave Ikin
Ash Robinson impressed during Kettering Town's FA Cup success at Cogenhoe. Picture by Dave Ikin

Scott Machin has welcomed a potential selection headache for Kettering Town as they prepare to return to Southern League Division One Central duty at the weekend.

The Poppies, who are the early leaders after winning five or the first six league matches, head to bottom-of-the-table AFC Hayes who are still chasing their first win of the season.

Kettering made safe progress through the preliminary round of the FA Cup with a 4-1 victory at Cogenhoe United last weekend as they set up a first qualifying round clash at Aylesbury a week on Saturday.

And the short trip across Northamptonshire proved to be a fruitful one after a number of players staked their claim with eye-catching displays.

Midifelder Ash Robinson was singled out for praise by joint-boss Machin as he capped an impressive display with a thunderous long-range strike which made it 3-1 to the Poppies at Compton Park.

The likes of striker Alfie Taylor and left-back Jon Bukasa also performed well as Kettering were able to rest both Andy Gooding and Steve Kinniburgh.

It has created a dilemma for Machin and fellow joint-manager Thomas Baillie but it’s not something the former is complaining about.

“Ash played really well and he has been a bit unfortunate because he was involved in the first game of the season but we decided to bring Brett Solkhon back in and he and Andy Gooding have been pretty good,” Machin said

“But Ash got his opportunity and he has given us something to think about.

“It’s fantastic that we have options and we had the conversation with the lads about the fact that this season would be about the squad.

“We are fortunate in that we have some pretty good players who haven’t been involved recently so when they come in, it doesn’t weaken the team.

“It’s nice to be able to change things around and it’s great to see lads come in and stake their claims for a place.”

Don’t miss a full preview of this weekend’s action in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph