Thomas hoping for a return to action for Poppies

Dean Thomas is hoping his Kettering Town team will be back in action against St Ives Town at Latimer Park tonight (Tuesday)

Dean Thomas is hoping his Kettering Town team will be back in action against St Ives Town at Latimer Park tonight (Tuesday)

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Dean Thomas is hoping Kettering Town get the chance to keep up their chase for a play-off place in the Calor League Division One Central tonight (Tuesday).

The Poppies haven’t played a league match for over two weeks now and, having moved into the top five at the start of the year, they have now slipped down to ninth place with other teams able to play while they have suffered because of further postponements.

They are, however, just three points off Slough Town who currently occupy the final play-off place and could improve their position should they claim all three points against St Ives Town at Latimer Park this evening.

Boss Thomas is in no doubt that his team, who remain on a 13-match unbeaten run in the league, is capable of lasting the pace in the race for a top-five finish.

But he admits they need to get playing again as soon as possible after their trip to another of the contenders Northwood became the latest match to be called off at the weekend.

“We want to get back on the pitch and get playing again,” the Kettering manager said.

“The weather has improved since the weekend and hopefully that opportunity will come about tonight.

“The players have trained hard for the last week or so, there has been no let up on our part.

“We have noticed a big change in the table since we last played in the league, some teams have pulled away from us.

“Of course, everyone looks at the table and you can see the gaps appearing. It can have a psychological effect.

“But our sole focus has to be on winning games and if we do that then everything else will take care of itself.

“We have spoken in training about making sure we have the right mindset for when the next came comes around. Hopefully that will be tonight and we have to be ready for it.”

Thomas confirmed young goalkeeper Jamie McAlindon will play this evening with first-choice stopper Denham Hinds ruled out with an ankle injury.

And central defender Henry Eze should also feature after a month away in Nigeria with Dan Crowie also still sidelined.

The Poppies boss added: “Jamie will play, he is looking forward to it and we wish him all the best. I am sure he won’t let us down.

“Henry has been back with the group and we are fortunate to have him back with Dan still getting over his injury.

“We are pretty much at full-strength so let’s get on with it and get the job done.”

You can find live updates on the Poppies’ clash with St Ives tonight by following our football reporter Jon Dunham on Twitter @JonDunhamNT

Visit this website for a full match report and find all the reaction in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph