Poppies, Steelmen and Diamonds all back in friendly action

Kettering Town enjoyed their NFA Maunsell Cup success over Northampton Town at the weekend and they return to action with a home friendly against Barwell tonight. Picture by Sharon Lucey
Kettering Town enjoyed their NFA Maunsell Cup success over Northampton Town at the weekend and they return to action with a home friendly against Barwell tonight. Picture by Sharon Lucey
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Kettering Town, Corby Town and AFC Rushden & Diamonds are all back in action this evening as the build-up to the new football season gathers pace.

The Poppies take on Barwell at Latimer Park while the Steelmen and Diamonds both make trips across the county to face Cogenhoe United and Brackley Town respectively.

Kettering’s friendly with Barwell is quickly followed by a trip to Coalville Town on Thursday.

And, having seen his team claim a penalty shoot-out success in Saturday’s NFA Maunsell Cup final after a 1-1 draw with Northampton Town, Poppies boss Marcus Law is keen to ensure his team don’t get ahead of themselves.

“We are far further ahead than where we were last summer,” Law said.

“But what we can’t do is get ahead of ourselves.

“We have got difficult games against Barwell and Coalville this week where we will be utilising everyone’s minutes and start slotting people in.

“We had to change things tactically to accommodate a professional club at the weekend.

“But there’s not a club in our league who will do what Northampton did to us.”

The Steelmen have just three friendlies remaining, including next Sunday’s high-profile match with the #NonLeagueChallenge Premier League legends at Steel Park.

But boss David Bell is looking no further than tonight’s match at Cogenhoe.

He said: “We have got one or two away for tonight so it gives us a chance to take a look at a couple of trialists and we will mix it up a bit.

“It should be a decent test. We played them in the county cup last season and they had a real go at us and I am sure they will do the same again.”

Diamonds look set for a tough test as they head to take on Vanarama National League North side Brackley.

Andy Peaks’ side head into it on the back of a 2-1 defeat to St Ives Town at Hayden Road at the weekend.

And the Diamonds manager said: “It was a bit more low key on Saturday compared to the game against Northampton last Tuesday (which Diamonds won 2-0).

“It’s a massive test for us tonight and we will have to be right back on it otherwise it will be a long night.

“It will be difficult but as long as I learn more from the performance then the friendly will serve its purpose.”