Kettering Town boss Dean Thomas insists he “doesn’t understand” why anyone would want to destroy the club after his team ended a traumatic week in incredible fashion.
The off-field events at Latimer Park took a turn for the worse when the Poppies were wound up in the High Court last Monday over a £58,000 debt owed to Rushden & Diamonds (2008) Ltd.
The club are due to lodge an appeal against the decision tomorrow after applying for a recission order which, if successful, will see the winding up order overturned.
A fundraising effort by football fans locally, nationally and internationally has already seen over £11,500 raised to help towards the Poppies’ debt and court costs while a bucket collection during Saturday’s game against Aylesbury United saw £1,175 raised.
And the Kettering fans were rewarded with a dramatic afternoon as their side scored two late goals to secure a 4-3 success - the club’s first win at Latimer Park in what might have been their last-ever game.
The supporters were certainly put through every emotion as the Poppies raced into a 2-0 lead, only for Aylesbury to fight back to lead 3-2. Steve Kinniburgh missed a penalty but substitute Lewis Wilson levelled before Kinniburgh made amends with a dramatic late winner.
With another crowd of 700-plus in the ground, it left boss Thomas feeling a sense of pride as well as frustration over the club’s problems.
“I didn’t want the players using the off-field problems as an excuse, it would be a weak and feeble excuse,” Thomas said.
“We have a job to do and that is to make sure this club succeeds on the pitch. The fans did their bit and the players responded by doing their bit.
“When I look around on a day like that, I just wonder how anyone would want to kill this football club.
“I know politics are politics but how can anyone want to kill the spirit of a town and the fanbase we have here? It seems ludicrous to me.
“Hopefully, whoever is involved in this will see sense and we will be able to sit down and get it all sorted out so we can move forward.”
As far as the game was concerned, Thomas was delighted by the way his players “stuck together” after they had squandered a 2-0 lead given to them by Rob Foster and Ashley Fuller.
“It was certainly a spectacle and it took us all right to the edge,” the Poppies boss added.
“I have been in a few battles like that where the game swings one way and then another.
“We started well and scored twice but we took our foot of the pedal and got undone by sloppy set-pieces, which was disappointing because when you are on top a set-piece can always change the game.
“But we kept on fighting, the players stuck together and I think we showed what we are all about in terms of spirit around this place.
“Maybe what has happened off the field inspired us but the crowd certainly did.
“We all did our bit and we made our own luck. After such a traumatic week, that was a fitting end to it all.”