Cox takes the positives as Poppies gear up for replay

Kettering Town will play Leamington again on Tuesday night after the two teams couldn't be separated in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 11:22 pm
Updated Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 11:24 pm
Paul Cox gives out some instructions on the sidelines during Kettering Town's 3-3 draw at Leamington. Pictures by Peter Short

Paul Cox preferred to focus on the positives after Kettering Town battled out a 3-3 draw at Leamington in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

A topsy-turvy encounter ended in stalemate meaning the National League North rivals will meet again at Latimer Park on Tuesday night to decide who will go through to the fourth qualifying round.

Kettering fell behind to Stephan Morley’s early free-kick before equalising through Claudio Ofosu, only for Dan Turner to restore the Brakes’ advantage.

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One of Kyle Perry's two goals finds the net during the Poppies' clash at Leamington

However, the hosts had Jack Edwards sent-off before half-time and the Poppies stormed back after the break with substitute Kyle Perry scoring twice to put them 3-2 up.

But the 10-man hosts hit back with Turner converting a penalty to secure a replay while the game was overshadowed by a nasty late injury to home midfielder Simeon Maye who confirmed on social media that he had fractured his tibia in two places.

For Poppies boss Cox, though, the main objective of making sure his team were in the hat for tomorrow’s (Monday) fourth qualifying round was achieved.

“There were some real positives,” the Kettering manager said.

Kyle Perry celebrates in front of the delighted Kettering fans after he put them 3-2 up

“We conceded a goal early on and we went behind again after scoring ourselves but we gave it a real go in the second half, albeit against 10 men.

“We scored two good goals but, if anything, our game management was lacking because the three goals we conceded were all preventable.

“We are disappointed with that but we have gone away to a place where the club has always seemed to have struggled.

“We wanted to make sure we were in the hat, which we are, but we have got to do it all again on Tuesday.

“After being 3-2 up, we are probably a bit disappointed but it’s a tough place to go and sometimes you have to take the positives out of a performance.”

Cox, meanwhile, hopes to see Max Dyche’s career go from “strength-to-strength” after the young defender was recalled from his loan spell at Kettering by parent club Northampton Town.

Dyche impressed during his short stint at Latimer Park but was recalled by the Cobblers and was named on the bench for their Sky Bet League Two home defeat to Sutton United yesterday.

“We are disappointed to lose Dychey because he has been brilliant here,” Cox added.

“But if he is going back to feature in Northampton’s first team then it can only be a positive.

“The lad has been a model pro since he has been with us and I can’t speak highly enough of him.

“He has been a pleasure to work with and we will watch his career with interest.

“Hopefully he gets an opportunity in Northampton’s first-team, hopefully he takes that opportunity and we will watch his career go from strength-to-strength.”