Character pleases Leese but Poppies still have issues to resolve

Kettering Town manager Andy Leese. Picture by Peter ShortKettering Town manager Andy Leese. Picture by Peter Short
Kettering Town manager Andy Leese. Picture by Peter Short
Andy Leese was pleased to see Kettering Town show some character as they put their first Southern League Premier Central point on the board at the weekend.

But the Poppies boss admitted there are still “issues to resolve” despite his team ending a run of three successive defeats with a 2-2 draw against Halesowen Town at Latimer Park.

Kettering fought back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to earn a share of the spoils with debutants Will Mellors-Blair and Dan Jarvis both on target after signing for the club last week.

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But Leese conceded there is still plenty of work for his team to do, especially when it comes to the defence.

“I think we have shown that character in previous games but to come from behind twice to get a result was important to build that character and belief,” the Poppies boss said.

“We tweaked the way we wanted to play. Some of that was our choice and some of it was to deal with Halesowen and we had to make an adjustment at half-time.

“But I thought our second-half performance was pretty good. There was a bit of grit and resilience.

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“But I was still very disappointed with the goals we conceded. We still have a couple of issues to resolve. We were broken down a bit too easily again.

“We got that first point on the board, which we were desperate for and I was delighted with the impact the two debutants had.

“Hopefully it gives us a bit of a springboard going in the weekend.”

The busy bank holiday weekend sees Kettering heading to Redditch United on Saturday before they host St Ives Town on Monday (3pm kick-off).

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And next Saturday (September 2) the Poppies now know they will be heading to Essex Senior League Premier Division side Hullbridge Sports in the first qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

“Make no mistake, it’s a tough draw,” Leese added.said.

“It’s a strong Step 5 league, I know it reasonably well and they have an experienced manager who has recruited really well after they were relegated out of Step 4 last season.

“They will love taking Kettering to task on their own turf.

“We have a tough draw there but we will make sure we are prepared for it.”

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