County cup win can only boost confidence, says Poppies boss Cox

Paul Cox believes Kettering Town’s midweek win over Brackley Town will only do good things for his squad’s confidence.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 10:02 am
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 10:04 am
Kettering Town manager Paul Cox. Picture by Peter Short

The Vanarama National League North rivals both, as expected, made changes for Tuesday’s NFA Hillier Senior Cup semi-final at Latimer Park.

And it was the Poppies who emerged triumphant as two second-half goals from Tre Mitford and a Ben Milnes effort gave them a 3-0 victory to send them into the final where they will meet Daventry Town, who were 2-1 winners at Peterborough Sports on the same night.

Kettering’s success came three days after they had drawn 0-0 with fellow strugglers Curzon Ashton while they are now looking ahead to a tough test at Altrincham in the league on Saturday.

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But the Poppies boss was pleased to see his team move into the county showpiece.

“I think both clubs deserve a bit of credit for putting out quite strong teams and I thought it was a good game,” Cox said.

“We’re happy we have scored a few goals and got through to the final.

“But it has also given me food for though because I thought there were some good individual performances. It was a good night at the office.

“Sometimes, these nights can go against you but it was positive for us and it helps us build towards Saturday, which is the start of another tough run of fixtures.

“It can only build that extra bit of confidence in the players.

“We rested one or two, which was needed, and one or two have come in and really stood out.

“What’s nice now is that the squad is getting a bit more quality in depth.

“It’s looking competitive now and I am still hopeful of bringing one or two more in.”

Mansfield Town loanees Alistair Smith and Jason Law both impressed after they were handed starts on Tuesday while Sam Meakin, who is on trial from Eastwood, played the full 90 minutes at left-back.

And Cox was also impressed with the contribution of central defender Jordan Aghatise, who has been training with the Poppies after being recommended to the manager by former Kettering centre-half Exodus Geohaghon who also played under Cox at Mansfield.

“Jordan was recommended to us by Exodus,” the Poppies manager added.

“He gave me a call and said he had a decent centre-half and I have had Ex playing under me before and he knows a central defender when he sees one.

“We have been having a look at Jordan, he’s done well in training and he did well in the game.

“He’s still a bit raw in certain parts of his game but he wasn’t up against mediocre players. He was another one who came through the game with a lot of credit."