Kelly targets big points for Poppies during a hectic period
Marcus Kelly is hoping Kettering Town will be able to take advantage of a flurry of fixtures over the next few weeks as they look to maintain their push for promotion.
The Poppies put a 4-4 draw with Redditch United and a 3-0 home loss to St Ives Town behind them as they returned to winning ways with a 3-0 success over Lowestoft Town at Latimer Park last weekend.
That result kept them on top of the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central until Tuesday evening when Stourbridge took over at the summit following a 0-0 draw at Banbury United.
Going into this weekend, it seems as though a two-horse race has developed at the top with Stourbridge holding a one-point advantage – although Kettering have three games in hand – 10 points clear of third-placed Biggleswade Town.
The Poppies themselves head to Banbury on Saturday and that is the first of five matches in just 17 days as the busy festive period approaches.
And midfielder Kelly knows he and his team-mates must target a big haul of points as they charge towards the halfway stage of the league season.
“There’s a big gap between second and third at the moment,” Kelly said.
“Stourbridge are right in the running, we have the games in hand on them but we need to win them when they come around.
“We have to stay on top of ourselves and put in the performances we know we are capable of.
“When you are going well you want the games to come thick and fast and we will get that over the next few weeks with the Christmas period.
“Hopefully we can put more points on the board during that time.”
Kelly, who has been a consistent performer since returning to the club in the summer, was in impressive form during last Saturday’s success.
His fine free-kick was headed home by Declan Towers for the Poppies’ second goal before Kelly scored the third himself as they added to Aaron O’Connor’s first-half opener.
And while Kelly was delighted to be play a key role in the victory, he insisted a return to winning ways was the most important thing after a couple of setbacks.
“It was nice to get the three points after the last couple of games, which were really disappointing,” he added.
“We changed things around a little bit and we played the conditions a little bit better.
“In previous games we were trying to get on the ball and pass it around, which probably isn’t ideal on these pitches at this time of year.
“I have been playing a little bit deeper recently but I played a bit further forward and I felt like I was getting in the box a bit more and that gives me the chance to get goals or create for others closer to goal.
“Obviously it was a great result, we scored three goals and kept a clean sheet so everyone was buzzing.”