Poppies must keep going, says joint-boss Baillie

Claudiu Hoban scores Kettering Town's second goal in their 2-1 success at Aylesbury. Pictures by Peter Short

Claudiu Hoban scores Kettering Town's second goal in their 2-1 success at Aylesbury. Pictures by Peter Short

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Thomas Baillie insists Kettering Town must “carry on doing what they are doing” after they opened up a gap at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central at the weekend.

The Poppies now hold a five-point advantage over second-placed Hanwell Town with a game in hand following a fine 2-1 success at fellow high-fliers Aylesbury on Saturday.

Aylesbury v Kettering Town 2014

Aylesbury v Kettering Town 2014

Elliot Sandy scored his fifth goal in five games since returning to the club before Claudiu Hoban gave Kettering a 2-0 lead at the break.

Andy Gooding missed a second-half penalty and the Poppies were forced to hold on for the final 10 minutes after Andy Hall was red-carded for deliberate handball with Aylesbury scoring the resulting penalty.

But Kettering saw it out and were then greeted with the news that Hanwell had been beaten 2-1 at home by St Ives Town.

And while joint-boss Baillie was delighted with what proved to be a near-perfect day, he says no-one will be getting carried away as the Poppies now prepare to take on Potters Bar Town at Latimer Park on Saturday.

Aylesbury v Kettering Town 2014

Aylesbury v Kettering Town 2014

“We were really good to be honest,” Baillie said.

“We started the game well and that was pleasing because it’s not something we have done in recent matches.

“A couple of very good goals got us in front and we could and probably should have been further in front at half-time with the chances we had.

“But we had to dig in at the end. We missed a penalty and hit the post but their penalty and Andy’s red card changed the game.

“They put us under a lot of pressure but the way our boys were putting their bodies on the line to block shots in our box just shows the desire they have got.

“They hit the bar late on but we would have been devastated if we hadn’t held on.

“It was a terrific three points for us and the lads were rightly delighted with the win.

“Obviously we have seen a few results went in our favour and we now have a good advantage at the top.

“There are a few gaps beginning to appear but we won’t allow anyone to get carried away.

“It was a great win for us but, ultimately, it is only three points and there is a long, long way to go.

“All we can do is carry on doing what we are doing. We are in good form and we need to keep it going at the weekend.”

Baillie, meanwhile, confirmed goalkeeper Alastair Worby is training with the Poppies.

Worby was with the club last season and played a key role in their run to the play-off final.

“Alastair is one of two goalkeepers who has been training with us,” Baillie added.

“We have made it clear that Jamie McAlindon is the number one and he has earned that position at the moment.

“But we have competition for places in every other position and we have to make sure that if anything happens to Jamie, that we are covered.

“So we are just trying to make sure we have that cover in place. We will keep working with these boys and see what happens.”

The Poppies have announced that their away game at county rivals Daventry Town next month has been put back 24 hours.

The clash at Communications Park had been due to take place on Boxing Day but will now be played on Saturday, December 27 (3pm).