Poppies in for a ‘real test’ at Hanwell

Poppies joint-manager Scott Machin

Poppies joint-manager Scott Machin

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Scott Machin knows Kettering Town are in for a “real test” when they head to Hanwell Town tomorrow (Saturday).

The Poppies sit five points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central with third-placed Hanwell seven off the pace.

The joint-boss insists his team will have their work cut out to pick up another crucial victory as they aim to maintain their charge at the summit.

But he firmly believes these big games are easier to approach than others.

“This is going to be a real test for us,” Machin said.

“After getting ourselves back on the winning side of things last weekend, it is going to be another massive game and I am sure they are going to make it very difficult for us down there.

“We have to make sure we are ready for it both physically and mentally.

“I am sure we will be and, in some ways, these big games that we have been going into are a lot easier than when you are up against a team at the wrong end of the table.”

Machin was delighted with the way his players hit back against Chalfont St Peter, who had their six-game winning streak ended last Saturday.

The Poppies went into it on the back of a 1-0 defeat at second-placed Bedworth but the joint-manager got just the reaction he was hoping for as goals from Brett Solkhon and Dubi Ogbonna, from the penalty spot, secured a 2-0 success and another three points.

“I was pleased to see that the players have got the reaction in them,” he added.

“You could sense it was going to happen, the players were determined to put things right.

“They were very disappointed by what happened at Bedworth and I was happy with the way they reacted to it.”

The Poppies will have full-back James Clifton and winger Andy Hall available again after that served one-match bans last weekend.

Richard Knight is set to continue in the Kettering goal with Jamie McAlindon facing further time on the sidelines with a groin injury.