Poppies boss Law left to reflect on a bittersweet day

Marcus Law had some sympathy for his Kettering Town players after a gruelling week ended with them suffering a 4-1 defeat at champions Hereford on what proved to be a bittersweet day.

Saturday, 21st April 2018, 9:28 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st April 2018, 9:36 pm
Marcus Law watches on during Kettering Town's 4-1 defeat at Hereford. Pictures by Peter Short

The Poppies were tasked with taking on the Bulls in front of over 4,500 fans at Edgar Street in what was their fifth game in nine days and their second in 48 hours following the 2-0 success over Weymouth on Thursday night.

And they were blown away in the first 15 minutes as Hereford raced into a 3-0 lead.

Mathew Stevens shows his delight after he pulled a goal back for the Poppies

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Mathew Stevens pulled one back after the break but the hosts grabbed another wrap up their victory.

However, there was good news after the event as King’s Lynn Town conceded a late equaliser in their 1-1 draw with St Neots Town.

That means, due to their better goal difference, the Poppies can still secure second place and home advantage throughout the play-offs should they get to the final, if they win their last two home matches against Tiverton Town and Farnborough.

And that was a welcome boost for Law and his players on the day they ran out of gas.

Ben Milnes is on the end of a heavy challenge during Kettering's loss at Hereford

“I felt sorry for the lads to be honest, it was a step too far,” the Poppies manager said.

“Going to Hereford at this time of year after having a free week to prepare would have been tough enough as it was.

“I am in a situation where I have been simply managing minutes, not tactics, just to trying to keep everyone as fresh as possible.

“But we weren’t as sharp and we were lacklustre and they took full advantage of that in the first half.

Mathew Stevens shows his delight after he pulled a goal back for the Poppies

“We were able to regroup at half-time and we made some changes and I thought we were better.

“I just feel a bit sorry for the players because they have put a monumental effort in this week and a lot went into getting the win we needed on Thursday. They deserved to end the week on a better note.

“It was a bit deflating but then we have seen King’s Lynn have slipped up and it means we have a shot at second place.

“First and foremost, we have to go and win two games next week and nothing less than that will do if we want to get into that position.

Ben Milnes is on the end of a heavy challenge during Kettering's loss at Hereford

“If we do that then King’s Lynn are going to need a huge swing of goals so we know the situation and we will do our best to get there.

“Someone said to me afterwards that if we win our next four home games then we will be up and that’s the reality of the situation.

“We are disappointed with the result at Hereford but this time next week, we could be sitting with 100 points and well over 100 goals so there is no way I could ask much more of these players after what they have done for us.”