Thomas knows Poppies have no room for error

Kettering Town supporter Clive Shackleton captured the moment that Henry Eze put the Poppies in front during Saturday's 2-0 victory over leaders Dunstable Town. Kettering are back in action at Latimer Park against AFC Hayes tonight (Tuesday)
Kettering Town supporter Clive Shackleton captured the moment that Henry Eze put the Poppies in front during Saturday's 2-0 victory over leaders Dunstable Town. Kettering are back in action at Latimer Park against AFC Hayes tonight (Tuesday)
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The big games keep coming for Kettering Town with their latest assignment being a clash with AFC Hayes at Latimer Park tonight (Tuesday).

The Poppies kept their bid to secure a Calor League Division One Central play-off place on course with a fine 2-0 success over current leaders Dunstable Town on Saturday to make it four home wins in a row.

A fifth this evening and another victory at Egham Town on Thursday will send Dean Thomas’ men into the top five ahead of Barton Rovers, even if they are successful at Egham this evening.

The Kettering boss insists he is only interested in what his team do, although he realises Egham may well hold the key as to how the top-five positions end up as they also have to play title-chasers Daventry Town before the season is out.

“There is no room for error on our part, tonight is another must-win game for us,” Thomas said.

“Hayes haven’t had the best of times recently but we have to be ready for the challenge.

“It was a good performance and a great result for us on Saturday. We are in good form at home and the fans are behind us so we have to keep it going.

“It is a huge week for us because we know two wins in midweek will put us into the play-off places going into the Easter weekend.

“Egham are a real dark horse and they are going to have a massive say in how the table looks at the end of the season.

“But we can only think about the next game and we have to make sure we perform to our best tonight.”

The Poppies’ cause has not been helped by a couple of injuries to key players as the season draws to a close.

Tommy Hull, who was suspended for Saturday’s victory, will miss out again tonight due to a groin strain while winger Jonathon Thorpe is away until Friday, meaning he will miss both midweek matches.

But Thomas will give defender Dan Crowie (hamstring) and forward Elliot Sandy (groin) “every chance” to prove their fitness before he names his team for tonight.

The Kettering manager added: “We have to deal with these situations.

“We knew Jonathon wouldn’t be available this week but, up until last week we assumed he would just miss one match but now it is two.

“Tommy won’t be fit but we will give the other boys all the time they need.

“We have to be careful with the games still coming thick and fast but, at this stage, we need to be as strong as possible for every game.”