‘Massive week’ ahead as Law responds to criticism after Poppies’ FA Cup exit

Striker Rene Howe had an exchange of views with Kettering Town supporters following their FA Cup defeat at Solihull Moors. Pictures by Peter Short
Striker Rene Howe had an exchange of views with Kettering Town supporters following their FA Cup defeat at Solihull Moors. Pictures by Peter Short
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Marcus Law accepts Kettering Town have got a “massive week” in front of them after he addressed the criticism of him and his players following their Emirates FA Cup exit.

The Poppies were beaten 3-1 at Vanarama National League side Solihull Moors as they missed out on a place in the first round proper of the competition for a 52nd time in the club’s history.

Marcus Law can't watch as his team slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Solihull Moors in the FA Cup

Marcus Law can't watch as his team slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Solihull Moors in the FA Cup

The two-division gap between the clubs was evident for most of the contest in the West Midlands but the Poppies did grab a late consolation through James Haran as they finished the game well.

However, there was an exchange of views between Rene Howe and a section of the large Poppies support following the match.

Law has come under pressure in recent weeks following a disappointing start to the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division with the Poppies sitting in 17th place, despite the club being clear in their desire for a promotion push.

They now face St Neots Town at Latimer Park on Tuesday night before hosting Weymouth next weekend.

James Haran heads home Kettering Town's consolation in the 3-1 loss at Solihull Moors

James Haran heads home Kettering Town's consolation in the 3-1 loss at Solihull Moors

They remain without a home league win this season and when asked about that exchange between Howe and the fans, Law launched a defence of his players and himself and admitted he hasn’t appreciated the “personal abuse and insults” that he says have been fired at him.

“At the end of the day, we are doing our utmost,” the Poppies boss said.

“Don’t get me wrong, I have known for the last month what has been said about me by a section of the supporters and while the results are what they are, they are going to be heard.

“I have got to put the fire into the players and we need to get the results to keep that section at bay.

“They want to see their team winning, I understand that. Whether I warrant personal abuse and insults, I’m not so sure.

“This is a job we do in and around our working lives and I often give this more commitment than I do in my own working life.

“I understand the frustration but personal abuse is not really required.

“It’s a massive week for us now to respond and react to the questions and the doubters that have been there for a while.

“It’s a big moment for us and, as a group, we have to go and prove people wrong.”

Law, meanwhile, admitted there was a difference in quality as the Poppies’ run in the FA Cup was ended as goals from Ryan Beswick and Andy Brown, who scored twice, sent Solihull into Monday’s first-round draw.

He added: “I always knew they were going to be very difficult to play against, I knew they had quality in there and Andy Brown is a sought after striker and they brought him back at the wrong time for us. He’s an excellent player and he has hurt us.

“The second goal was crucial and we got caught out, we lost possession and within three or four seconds they have put a cross into our area and we were outnumbered.

“We had chances to put crosses in or get a shot on goal and we just didn’t have the same quality.

“It was a strange game. I wanted to change personnel but who was really standing out as having a bad game? We had to gamble our shape to get goalscorers on there.

“We deserved the goal when it came. I am proud of the lads for what they have given us. The result wasn’t there and the quality was the difference.”