Poppies must take advantage, says boss Dean

Poppies boss Dean Thomas says his team are ready for tonight's Calor League Division One Central clash with St Ives Town at Latimer Park
Poppies boss Dean Thomas says his team are ready for tonight's Calor League Division One Central clash with St Ives Town at Latimer Park

Dean Thomas has urged his Kettering Town players to seize the opportunity as they get ready to take on St Ives Town in the Calor League Division One Central at Latimer Park tonight (Tuesday).

The Poppies could only watch on at the weekend as their trip to Egham Town was postponed due to continued problems with flooding in the Surrey area.

But Kettering would have been content by the time Saturday evening came around as the top two, Rugby Town and Dunstable Town, both suffered defeats while two of their fellow play-off contenders Beaconsfield SYCOB and Royston Town also failed to win.

The Latimer Park pitch was again left saturated by the downpours on Sunday evening.

Boss Thomas is hoping it recovers in time for the Poppies, who are currently on a 15-match unbeaten run in the league, to return to action this evening while another home game with Marlow follows on at the weekend.

But he is wary of tonight’s opponents, who almost produced a miracle fightback at the weekend before losing 5-4 at home to Northwood at the weekend.

“All we can do is try to take advantage of the situation,” Thomas said.

“When the other teams open the door for you, you have to try to close it by going and winning matches.

“If we are going to force our way into things at the top end then we are going to have to do it the hard way by chasing those teams above us. That is the way it will be for the rest of the season with the number of games we have to play.

“I think we have the ability to put some pressure on them and we are ready and prepared to get back out there.

“St Ives lost 5-4 at the weekend and it is a bit of a local derby. We want to avenge the defeat we had against them in the FA Trophy a few months ago and I believe we can cause them problems.

“But they are capable and we will have to make sure we are solid defensively.”

Thomas, meanwhile, has welcomed the competition for the goalkeeper position, which has been created following the arrival of Alastair Worby at the weekend.

Worby hit the headlines earlier this season when he was drafted in by Brackley Town for their FA Cup success over Gillingham.

He has now joined the Poppies from Stourbridge to compete with youngster Jamie McAlindon for the number one jersey as first-choice stopper Denham Hinds remains sidelined by an ankle and leg injury.

Thomas added: “Jamie has kept two clean sheets in a row but it’s important to have that competition.

“We are not sure how much longer Denham will be out but it’s good to have two goalkeepers in the squad, especially with the number of games that are coming up.”

Top scorer Dubi Ogbonna will miss out on the chance to face his former club tonight as he continues to recover from a poisoned wound in his leg.