Thomas feeling upbeat as Poppies head to Harborough

Kettering's Chris Logan battles for a high ball during the 1-0 defeat to Peterborough Northern Star. The Poppies are back in friendly action at Harborough Town tonight (Tuesday)

Kettering's Chris Logan battles for a high ball during the 1-0 defeat to Peterborough Northern Star. The Poppies are back in friendly action at Harborough Town tonight (Tuesday)

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Dean Thomas wasn’t too downhearted after seeing Kettering Town suffer their first defeat of this summer’s pre-season campaign.

The Poppies were beaten 1-0 at United Counties League Premier Division side Peterborough Northern Star on Saturday and are straight back into action tonight (Tuesday) against another UCL team, Harborough Town, at Bowdens Park (7.30pm).

But despite the setback in the scoreline, manager Thomas was feeling upbeat about his team’s performance as they continue their preparations for the Calor League Division One Central campaign, which gets under way on August 17.

“Obviously you want to win games because it is a very good habit to have,” the Poppies manager said.

“We have been beaten but we dominated the vast majority of the game and we hit the crossbar three times in the first half.

“We were definitely lacking something in front of goal because we had a number of chances that we were unable to finish off and we had a clear penalty not given in the second half.

“But there were some decent performances out there. I thought Jonathon Thorpe and Dave Deeney bosses the midfield and I think Jake Newman looks the real deal for us in attack. He is very athletic and creative.

“We had a first look at Paul Caswell as well, which was good for us and these early friendlies are all about just getting everyone some game time.

“We have got similar opposition tonight in the form of Harborough. It will be another decent test for the players.”

The Poppies are likely to be without recent signing Jermaine Clarke after the striker went off with a shoulder injury after half-an-hour at Peterborough.