Poppies and Terras to collide in the battle for home supremacy

The battle to earn home supremacy in the Evo-Stik South League Premier play-offs is set to reach fever pitch at Latimer Park tonight (Thursday).

Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 4:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th April 2018, 8:01 am
Brett Solkhon scores Kettering Town's third goal during the 7-0 success at Gosport Borough on Tuesday night. Picture by Peter Short

With Hereford having been crowned as champions after their 1-0 victory at Biggleswade Town on Tuesday night and the four play-off teams already confirmed, attention now turns to see who will finish in second and third to earn home advantage in the semi-finals.Kettering Town moved back into third spot after their 7-0 demolition of rock-bottom Gosport Borough on the south coast on Tuesday night as Brett Solkhon, Mathew Stevens and Rene Howe all scored twice while Aaron O’Connor hit his 37th goal in all competitions this season.They are just ahead of Weymouth on goal difference with the Terras being the visitors to Latimer Park this evening.The Poppies, who have now scored an incredible 111 goals in the league this season, also have the games to overtake King’s Lynn Town and secure second place which would also guarantee home advantage in the play-off final should they make it that far.But, for the time being, it’s all eyes on tonight’s huge clash with Weymouth which is then followed by a trip to take on the newly-crowned champions at Edgar Street on Saturday.Poppies boss Marcus Law is hoping the fans will turn out in force for his team’s fourth game in the space of seven days this evening.And he insists his team must target second spot while there is still a chance of getting it.“We want to see a big crowd,” Law said.“And, on our part, we want to produce a big performance to show what we are capable of doing.“We have pulled out all the stops this season and it’s just unfortunate that four other clubs have done the same.“We are in a mini league now and we have the games and goals on our side to try to nick second place.“Tonight and Saturday are huge games and if we want to secure second then we are going to have to produce a couple of very big performances.“I think second place has to be the target because it is still achievable.“For the first time, we know we can’t catch Hereford so we have to look at the next target and that is to get second place and then go into the play-offs knowing we will have home advantage.”It wasn’t all good news for the Poppies on Tuesday night as left-back Ben Toseland suffered an ankle injury, which will rule him out of tonight’s clash.Kettering are also without Kalern Thomas who starts a three-match ban after he was sent-off in the defeat at King’s Lynn.And Law said: “Ben was heavily strapped up after the game on Tuesday.“It is a concern for us and we will be keeping a close eye on how it goes but he will definitely miss the game tonight.”

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