Poppies lacking a spark, says boss Law

Rene Howe shows his surprise after being shown a red card during Kettering Town's 0-0 draw with Hitchin Town at Latimer Park. Pictures by Peter Short
Rene Howe shows his surprise after being shown a red card during Kettering Town's 0-0 draw with Hitchin Town at Latimer Park. Pictures by Peter Short
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Marcus Law admitted Kettering Town are “lacking a spark” after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Hitchin Town at Latimer Park.

The Poppies have failed to find the net in their first two home matches of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign after they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Leamington in the previous midweek.

Kettering's Callum Westwood challenges Hitchin's Matt Lench during the goalless draw

Kettering's Callum Westwood challenges Hitchin's Matt Lench during the goalless draw

Both Kettering and Hitchin finished a poor contest with 10 men with Rene Howe seeing red for the hosts for an apparent elbow early in the second half after Ben Walster had been given his marching orders for a similar offence just before the break.

Law was content with the way his team “stood up” to their visitors but he knows they need to do a lot more to get their season “firing”.

“We don’t seem to have the attacking threat that we had during pre-season and the end of last season, we need to get ourselves firing again,” Law said.

“The concern is that in two home games so far we haven’t excited the fans. We are lacking a spark.

“I think not having Wilson Carvalho (who has now served four of a six-match ban) is proving to be a big loss because he is one of those exciting players and we have not really been able to replace that.

“We lost an edge by not having Liam Canavan out there and then losing Rene Howe to the red card was a big blow because it came at a time when we were trying to take advantage of them being down to 10 men.

“The red card was very disappointing. I was struggling to see how it was a foul, let alone a sending-off offence.

“I thought the positive from the game was that we showed we have a bit of fight in us.

“We stood up to the opponents who wanted to stifle the game from the start and we got physical when we had to.”

Canavan missed the clash due to an ankle problem and Law, whose team have an away game at Redditch United on Tuesday night, is staying hopeful that the midfielder will be back sooner rather than later

“With Liam, we are hopeful of having a better review of it after the weekend,” the Poppies boss added.

“We will have another check on him tomorrow (Monday) and see if we can get him back involved on Tuesday.”