Poppies are in a sticky patch, admits Machin

Poppies goalkeeper Richard Knight is unable to stop Ash Robinson's own-goal, which gave Aylesbury United the lead in Saturday's 2-2 draw. Picture by Peter Short
Poppies goalkeeper Richard Knight is unable to stop Ash Robinson's own-goal, which gave Aylesbury United the lead in Saturday's 2-2 draw. Picture by Peter Short

Scott Machin has conceded Kettering Town are going through a “sticky patch” in their bid for promotion from the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.

The Poppies battled back from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw - their first stalemate in 44 competitive matches - at Aylesbury United on Saturday.

Aylesbury United v Kettering Town 2015 NNL-151201-143626002

Aylesbury United v Kettering Town 2015 NNL-151201-143626002

It proved to be a useful point gained as second-placed Aylesbury lost 1-0 at Royston Town, a result that saw the Poppies move five clear at the summit.

But joint-boss Machin admits Kettering’s recent form is something of a concern with the last four matches bringing them just four points after defeats to Northwood and in-form Rugby Town.

The Poppies return to action on Saturday when they take on Egham Town at Latimer Park.

And Machin insists there will be work to do for his players during training this week as they aim to return to winning ways.

“Without a shadow of a doubt we are going through our sticky patch and everyone has them throughout the season,” the joint-manager said.

“Of the last four games we have won one, drawn one and lost two so let’s hope Saturday was the start of us coming out of the other side of it.

“We can’t go on for too much longer otherwise we will be throwing away the advantage we have fought so hard for in the first half of the season.

“There is a lot of work to do on the training ground this week to try to put things right and we will roll on into the game next week.”

The Poppies will have James Clifton available again for the weekend after he served a one-match ban at Aylesbury United.

But Tommy Hull begins a two-match suspension after being sent off for the second time this season in the 1-0 loss to Rugby on New Year’s Day.