Kettering Town return to Latimer Park tonight (Tuesday) with boss Nicky Eaden well aware that their home form could be the key factor for them in the Vanarama National League North.
The fine 2-1 opening-day success over AFC Telford United is now a distant memory for the Poppies as they come into this evening’s clash with Chester on the back of two away defeats in a row after they lost 2-1 at King’s Lynn Town before going down 3-0 at Darlington at the weekend.
It has been a baptism of fire for Kettering and it isn’t going to get any easier this evening as they take on a Chester side who are unbeaten so far and who are managed by former Salford City joint-bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley.
But, with a win already under their belts on home soil this season, Eaden is keen to ensure the Poppies use their own ground to their advantage.
“We have to make sure we are strong at home,” the Poppies boss said.
“And we have to make it as uncomfortable as possible for every team that comes here.
“As far as Chester are concerned, it is going to be a real battle. They are big, physical and they have had a good start to the season.
“We are going to have to cope with the threat they have and it may mean we have to set up slightly differently.
“Every week, we are going to be coming up against teams who are well established at this level and who have budgets to play with.
“We don’t have that luxury so we have to focus on making ourselves as strong as possible, particularly on our own ground.”
Eaden, who has defender Sam Cartwright available again tonight after a one-match ban, is hoping frontman Alex Nimley will be available to play sooner rather than later.
Nimley featured for the Poppies during pre-season but the club are currently waiting on international clearance before he can feature in the league.
“It’s in the process and we are waiting on the international clearance,” Eaden added.
“Obviously, in this situation, you are in the hands of the FA and whatever foreign FA you are dealing with but we hope that Alex will be available sooner rather than later.
“And when he is available, it will certainly give us an extra option in the attacking area.”