Solkhon feels Poppies wasted a big opportunity

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Brett Solkhon says the Poppies blew their chance to put the club back on the map.

Solkhon’s scrapbook contains plenty of cuttings from the 2008-2009 season when the Poppies scalped Football League sides Lincoln and Notts County on the way to the fourth round of the FA Cup where they were beaten by Fulham.

Brett Solkhon

Brett Solkhon

But the Poppies’ interest in this season’s competition was ended by Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Chalfont St Peters in the second qualifying round at Latimer Park.

Solkhon did come close to forcing a replay in injury time, but his effort was saved and the Poppies crashed out.

“Kettering have a history of doing well in the FA Cup,” said the 32 year-old, “and a good run in the competition would have given the club and the players the chance to put themselves on the map.

“Financially, a good cup run is very good for the club as well, so to go out in the second qualifying round is very disappointing.

“We were hoping to reach the first round - and maybe even go further,”

Instead, Chalfont St Peter bagged the £4,500 bonus for reaching the third qualifying round and go into the hat for Monday’s draw.

They owe their progress to Alan Hedley’s eighth-minute strike and the well-organised performance that followed it.

Solkhon, a veteran of more than 300 Poppies appearances, said: “We gave away a poor goal early on, but still had time to turn the match round.

“We created chances and if we had scored one, I’m sure we would have gone on to score more. But it just didn’t happen for us.”

The result leaves the Poppies to concentrate on gaining promotion from Southern League Division One Central League.

They top the table heading into Saturday’s match at Beaconsfield SYCOG, but were beaten 3-2 at Marlow in their last league match after blowing a 2-1 lead.

Solkhon said: “Every team, no matter how good they are and what division they play in, goes through a blip during a season.

“It’s all about how you bounce back from it.

“We just have to keep believing in ourselves and keep doing the things that have got us to the top of the table.”