Culverhouse knows Kettering Town will give it everything they've got

Ian Culverhouse knows he can make no guarantees on how Kettering Town’s season will finish.

Friday, 29th April 2022, 7:30 am
Kettering Town manager Ian Culverhouse. Picture by Peter Short
Kettering Town manager Ian Culverhouse. Picture by Peter Short

But, no matter what happens over the next three games, the Poppies boss insists it “won’t be for a lack of trying”.

There’s no question that Kettering’s season has already exceeded all expectations.

They go into the final three matches of the Vanarama National League North still in with a chance of clinching a play-off place, although things have been made slightly more trickier after the midweek action.

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York City tightened their grip on a place in the top seven with a 1-0 win at Chester on Tuesday night.

And Alfreton Town’s incredible run of form continued with a 4-2 home success over Curzon Ashton as they moved just above the Poppies.

With three games to go, Kettering head into the bank holiday double-header in ninth place and two points adrift of the play-off positions.

And the three remaining matches are big ones.

They face a tough trip to third-placed AFC Fylde, who have lost just once in their last 11 games, on Saturday before Alfreton come to Latimer Park on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm kick-off).

The regular season culminates with a clash at Curzon on May 7.

And Culverhouse insists his team will be giving it everything they have got to maintain their good form until the end.

“We go into every game and try our best,” the Kettering manager, who saw his team hold leaders Gateshead to a 1-1 draw at Latimer Park last weekend, said.

“And what will be, will be at the end of the day.

“I can tell you now it won’t be for the lack of trying with this group of players.

“They have given everything for this club, the loanees have come in and done everything they can and hopefully we have given them the chance to move forward.

“Every single one of them has been superb, I can’t fault any of them since I walked through the door.”

The Poppies have suffered just one defeat in their last nine matches.

That run of form has come about thanks to the majority of the squad being available again after injuries and suspensions hit them hard in the middle of March.

However, they have been without experienced defender Liam Daly for the past few games due to illness.

But Culverhouse is hoping the centre-half will still have a part to play in the last knockings of the campaign.

“He’s been struggling with illness,” Culverhouse said.

“We have been monitoring him but he knows his own body. He’s old enough and wise enough to know when he’s fit to come back in.

“We are hopeful that he will recover and be part of it at the end of the season.”

Fylde go into their clash with Kettering on Saturday as one of the form teams in the division.

Now managed by former Gloucester City and Chesterfield boss James Rowe, Fylde have been beaten just once in their last 11 matches.

They need just two more points from their last three games to secure at least a third-placed finish to guarantee them a home semi-final in the play-offs.