Time for the Poppies to find out ‘where they are’

Kettering Town celebrate one of their three goals, all of which were scored by Dubi Ogbonna, in the 3-1 success at Aylesbury. The Poppies travel to Royston Town tonight. Picture by Peter Short
Kettering Town celebrate one of their three goals, all of which were scored by Dubi Ogbonna, in the 3-1 success at Aylesbury. The Poppies travel to Royston Town tonight. Picture by Peter Short
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Dean Thomas believes Kettering Town will know exactly how far they have come in recent weeks when they head to Royston Town in the Calor League Division One Central tonight (Tuesday).

The Poppies currently sit in sixth spot after a remarkable turnaround in fortunes that has seen them go on a 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions while striker Dubi Ogbonna has scored back-to-back hat-tricks in their last two league successes at Marlow and Aylesbury.

But Thomas knows his team are about to get their sternest test for sometime at a side who were highly fancied to be among the title-chasers and who currently sit in eighth place.

And he firmly believes his in-form squad have what it takes to start matching up against the teams in the upper reaches of the division.

“We have been on a great run but, without being too disrespectful to anyone, we have been up against teams from the lower end of the table,” Thomas said.

“But, starting with Royston, we have games coming up against the sides above us. It will certainly be a good gauge for how far we have come and where we are.

“I am really looking forward to these big games. If we are to get into the play-off places then we will need to take points off the teams above us.

“We really couldn’t be going into tonight in any better shape after the run of results we have had. And I believe we have enough about us to keep on improving.”

Thomas also had a word of praise for youngster Harry Beckley who came off the bench early on in Saturday’s 3-1 victory at Aylesbury after right-back Chimdi Akubuine suffered concussion.

“Chimdi got a smash in the face and had to come off and we will see how he is before picking the team for tonight,” the Poppies boss added.

“Harry came on and did very well for us. He was very direct and he set up the first goal as well. I am sure he will continue to play a role for us.”

Akubuine is the only doubt for tonight’s game while Louis Hamilton will return to the squad after being unavailable at the weekend.