Poppies players were told to ‘answer the critics’

Paul Malone secured Kettering Town's 2-1 win at Kings Langley with his first goal for the club

Paul Malone secured Kettering Town's 2-1 win at Kings Langley with his first goal for the club

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Marcus Law revealed he challenged his Kettering Town players to “go and answer the critics” before they claimed a 2-1 success at Kings Langley last night (Tuesday).

Not for the first time this season, the Poppies boss and his players came under fire following the 2-1 defeat at Witton Albion last weekend which saw their Buildbase FA Trophy hopes ended.

With speculation rife that time was beginning to run out for the Kettering manager, the pressure was eased as his team came from a goal down to register back-to-back wins for the first time this season in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.

The Poppies fell behind to a Jorell Johnson goal in the second half but Liam Canavan equalised with a long-range effort before Paul Malone won it late on with his first strike for the club.

The victory sent Kettering back into the top 10 for the first time since September and Law was pleased to see his team “graft” for the points.

“To be honest, I put it on the players,” the Poppies boss said.

“Aside from James Brighton, who was injured, I stayed with the same team and I told them to go and answer the critics.

“It was a poor performance at Witton and to see them graft for 90 minutes and dig out a victory was pleasing.

“It was very much an attitude game, we had to have the right attitude for it.

“Kings Langley are an up and coming club who have probably progressed quicker on the pitch than off it so it’s a tough place to play.

“It was a difficult night, it took a long time for us all to get down there due to the traffic but we dealt with that and didn’t let it affect us.

“The first half was a non-entity with two teams who didn’t want to lose rather than going and forcing the issue.

“And then we have gone behind from a corner, which was frustrating but it then became a case of us ensuring we took any opportunities that came our way.

“Liam reckons his shot was going in anyway but it got a helping hand from their goalkeeper and then we have been brave enough to go on and try to win it.

“It was great to get that late winner.”

The Poppies are on the road again at the weekend when they face a tough trip to fourth-placed Hitchin Town who are yet to lose at home in the league this season.