Thomas happy to now be part of Poppies’ history

The Kettering Town players enjoy the moment after they beat Daventry Town 3-0 to make it 18 league games without defeat on Thursday night. Picture by Peter Short
The Kettering Town players enjoy the moment after they beat Daventry Town 3-0 to make it 18 league games without defeat on Thursday night. Picture by Peter Short

There was plenty of history between Dean Thomas and Kettering Town long before he became the club’s manager last summer.

But the Poppies boss is delighted to now be part of the club’s 142-year history after leading the current crop on a record-breaking unbeaten league run.

Kettering made it 18 games unbeaten in the Calor League Division One Central as they emphasised their promotion credentials with a brilliant 3-0 win at title-chasing Northamptonshire neighbours Daventry Town on Thursday night.

The overall unbeaten run in the club’s history still stands at 27 matches but 10 of those at the time were in cup competitions.

The Poppies’ next stop is a clash against another of the play-off chasers Beaconsfield SYCOB later today (Saturday) with Thomas keen to keep the run going.

The experienced manager was well known to Poppies fans before he became involved at their club.

He famously scored the only goal for Northampton Town in the last competitive meeting between the two clubs in an FA Cup clash back in 1989.

And he also masterminded shock FA Cup wins for both Bedworth United and Hinckley United against the Poppies while having numerous battles with Kettering in later years with the Knitters.

But now he has written his own name into Kettering’s history books and he couldn’t be happier about it.

“Kettering has been a club that I have watched and played against for a number of years, there is history between myself and the club,” he said.

“But now it is nice to be part of their history.

“To go 18 games unbeaten at any level is a magnificent achievement, especially after the doom and gloom that was around early in the season.

“We have good players and once they get that habit of winning games, they are hard to stop.

“We have to enjoy the moment but let’s make sure we get back on it at Beaconsfield.”

A gruelling schedule that has come about due to a number of postponements during December and January sees Kettering travel to Beaconsfield today before heading to another side in the play-off shake-up Northwood next Tuesday night.

And, after three games in the last seven days, Thomas knows he will have to utilise his squad further if the current run is to continue.

“These are testing times and the problem is that we are playing against good teams and you never want to weaken the side,” he added.

“But there are few weaknesses in the squad, there were good players who didn’t feature on Thursday.

“It’s my job to utilise these players in the best possible way and they know that I will be resting them now and again.”

The Poppies, who are now just four points off a play-off place, sit just a point clear of Beaconsfield and two clear of Northwood going into the next two matches.