An early-season showdown for Poppies and Linnets

Lindon Meikle in action during Kettering Town's victory at Hitchin Town on Saturday. Picture by Peter Short
Lindon Meikle in action during Kettering Town's victory at Hitchin Town on Saturday. Picture by Peter Short

Kettering Town return to Latimer Park for an early-season showdown with King’s Lynn Town tonight (Tuesday).

The Poppies and Linnets were two of the five teams who stormed away from the rest in last season’s Evo-Stik South League Premier with both eventually falling victim to Slough Town in the play-offs.

Now their rivalry is set to be resumed in the new surroundings of the Evo-Stik South League Premier Division Central with both expected to challenge at the top end of the table once again.

Kettering kicked off the new campaign with a 1-0 success at Hitchin Town on Saturday, courtesy of Rhys Hoenes’ first-half goal while King’s Lynn suffered a 4-2 home defeat to Biggleswade Town.

And while that result may have surprised many, Poppies boss Marcus Law wasn’t shocked by it.

But he knows his team will still have to be at their best this evening.

“I certainly wouldn’t underestimate Biggleswade because they have made some good signings, they have a new manager and they are a team who could do well this season,” Law said.

“To be honest, I don’t think anyone should be looking too deep into anything until 10 games have been played.

“This one tonight will be built up because of what both teams did last season and that is understandable.

“We will get our reports back from the game at the weekend and we will make the decisions we need to make.

“The team that played at Hitchin will not necessarily be what we need for this game.

“We know they will be big and physical and that’s something we will have to deal with.”

The Poppies are set to again be without striker Aaron O’Connor who is out with a knee injury while it is not yet known whether Marcus Kelly’s international clearance will come through in time for the game.