Baillie content with table-topping Poppies

Brett Solkhon battles for possession during Kettering Town's 1-0 win over Daventry Town on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture by Mike Capps/
Brett Solkhon battles for possession during Kettering Town's 1-0 win over Daventry Town on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture by Mike Capps/

Thomas Baillie has declared himself happy with the way Kettering Town have started their season.

The Poppies claimed a maximum haul of six points from two home games over the bank holiday weekend as a 3-1 success over North Greenford United was followed by a 1-0 victory over Northamptonshire rivals Daventry Town on Monday afternoon, courtesy of substitute Alfie Taylor’s late goal.

That sent Kettering back to the top of the Southern League Division One Central and, as they now prepare to turn their attention to an FA Cup preliminary round clash at Cogenhoe United this weekend, joint-manager Baillie is content with the way they have kicked off the new campaign.

“We are happy to have the six points from two games over the weekend and I think August has been a good month for us overall,” Baillie said.

“If someone had handed us this position just before the season started, I think we would have taken it.

“We expected a close game on Monday and that’s what it was.

“We changed our formation and put three in the middle because we thought Daventry would come and try to turn it into a battle.

“In some ways, the change in formation worked and in other ways it didn’t.

“But what we did do was get better as the game wore on and in the final 20 minutes I think we did enough to win the game.”

Baillie, meanwhile, gave a full explanation regarding the absence of striker Dubi Ogbonna in Monday’s clash.

Ogbonna had been at the centre of a controversial finish in Saturday’s win over North Greenford when he stormed down the tunnel after being substituted deep into stoppage-time.

It came after he had been overruled in wanting to take the late penalty, which was scored by Andy Gooding.

But Baillie insisted it was an ankle injury that kept the frontman out of the Daventry game and that he had apologised for his conduct earlier in the bank holiday weekend.

“Had Dubi been fit, he probably would have been on the bench”, the Poppies joint-boss added.

“But he has an ankle injury and it could keep him out for another week or so.

“I am sure people will be thinking it was a bit convenient after what happened on Saturday.

“We had a decision to make but the truth is it was taken out of our hands when the physio told us he shouldn’t play.

“Dubi has apologised for his actions to the management team, the staff at the club and he was in and around the players on Monday.

“The club will deal with the situation but as far as I am concerned, the matter is now closed.”

Don’t miss a full preview of Kettering’s FA Cup clash at Cogenhoe United in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph