Marcus Law was delighted with the second-half response from his Kettering Town players after admitting they were “taken to the cleaners” in the opening period of the final pre-season friendly at Barwell last night (Tuesday).
The Poppies boss opted to field a strong side for the last outing of the summer, despite it coming just a few days before the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division opener at last season’s runners-up Poole Town on Saturday.
Both Brett Solkhon and Elliot Sandy, who are facing FA charges over alleged breaches of betting rules, featured during the 0-0 draw at the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League outfit.
And Law was happy he decided to put a strong squad on the pitch as he conceded his team walked away “knowing they had been in a real game”.
“I was very sceptical about the game because of the timing of it so close to the first day of the season,” the Poppies boss said.
“But the fact is that we are behind schedule given the amount of time we have had to prepare so I decided to look at a few little things and I am glad I did it in the end.
“We were welcomed into a non-League game of football against a team from the equivalent level but from a division, which is regarded as a lot more physical than the one we are in.
“And in the first half they took us to the cleaners. We struggled with their work-rate, their pressure and their physical approach.
“For the younger gentlemen in our squad, who have only been used to under-21 football, it was a reality check.
“A few harsh words were said at half-time and a couple of tactical tweaks and we were much better in the second half.
“I was delighted with the response of the lads but they have walked away from that knowing we have been in a real game.
“It was just what we needed and will do us no harm at all.”
Don’t miss all the build-up to the new season in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph