'Great moment' for Law's Poppies as they hit the top

Marcus Law savoured a 'great moment' as Kettering Town moved back to the top of the Evo-Stik South League Premier in dramatic fashion.

Saturday, 4th November 2017, 9:33 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 11:19 pm
Gary Mulligan takes the congratulations after he scored Kettering Town's second goal in the 4-3 success at Farnborough. Pictures by Peter Short

The Poppies were seemingly cruising towards another win after goals from Rene Howe, Gary Mulligan and Ben Toseland gave them a 3-0 half-time lead at Farnborough.

However, after losing Mulligan and right-back Durrell Berry to injury at half-time, the Poppies were pegged back as Farnborough scored twice before Aaron O’Connor missed a penalty to make it 4-2.

Jamie Cureton looked to have earned the hosts a point when he struck from close-range late on.

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Gary Mulligan scores the Poppies' second goal

But there was one more twist to come as substitute Mathew Stevens fired home from Lindon Meikle’s pass in the sixth minute of stoppage-time to secure a 4-3 victory.

The goal sparked wild scenes from the travelling fans with Law joining the celebrations with them after the final whistle.

And, after a rollercoaster of an afternoon, the Poppies boss hailed his team’s character.

“In the first half I thought we were quite sublime,” Law said.

Kettering boss Marcus Law watches on at Farnborough

“We were relentless and nullified their threat and to be honest, we should have had more.

“The half-time team talk was based around just carrying it on but we had to make forced changes with two of our back four being injured and that always makes it difficult.

“We had three chances to go 4-0 up but then they have pulled a goal back and they really got the bit between their teeth.

“They’ve scored an absolute pearler and they really went after us.

Gary Mulligan scores the Poppies' second goal

“And when we’ve missed a penalty and then they’ve scored again, we were thinking we had thrown away two points.

“To be fair, it could have gone either way at 3-3. But we have broken away and scored the winner and that sparked a large amount of emotion.

“I am delighted for Mathew because he is a real professional. He is probably unlucky not to be starting but there is massive competition in that department.

“He is a credit to his parent club and he is a credit to himself. He deserved his goal and deserved that moment.

Kettering boss Marcus Law watches on at Farnborough

“It was a great moment for everyone, particularly the fans who stuck with us and it was nice to celebrate with them at the end.

“And it’s nice to be on top of the league. It’s only November and we have a lot of work to do.

“But there is some serious character in this squad and the players believe they can be in the mix.

“We have a long break before the next league game and we will enjoy this win for a while and then make sure we are ready for what comes next.”

The Poppies now have a break from league action until November 18 when they head to Dorchester Town while the next two midweeks see them in knockout action as they go to Daventry Town in the quarter-finals of the NFA Hillier Cup on Tuesday while a BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup second-round clash at AFC Rushden & Diamonds follows on Tuesday week.

And, after Mulligan and Berry picked up those knocks, Law believes the break of the league has come at a good time.

“Obviously, you would not even think about taking either of them out of it so it was unfortunate,” he added.

“Rene Howe has also been struggling with a groin niggle so the break from the league games has probably come at a good time for these guys to rest up.”