Baillie pleased with ‘calm and collective’ Poppies

Elliot Sandy opened the scoring in Kettering Town's 3-1 victory at Potters Bar
Elliot Sandy opened the scoring in Kettering Town's 3-1 victory at Potters Bar

Thomas Baillie felt Kettering Town showed a “calm and collective” side as they maintained their place at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central with a 3-1 success at Potters Bar Town.

The Poppies made it back-to-back wins following the midweek success against Beaconsfield SYCOB as first-half strikes from Elliot Sandy and Josh Moreman put them in control before Gary Mulligan’s first goal for the club completed the victory after the hosts had pulled one back.

It meant Kettering held on to top spot on goal difference as Bedworth United and third-placed Aylesbury also won.

And joint-boss Baillie was particularly pleased with the way his team finished the game after Potters Bar had threatened to come back from 2-0 down.

“They were a decent side with a lot of good players but, apart from a 10 or 15-minute spell, I thought we dominated the game,” he said.

“We took our foot off the gas and allowed them to get back into the game when we probably shouldn’t have done.

“Elliot has scored a really good goal and I thought we showed a lot of patience with the ball after that and it helped us get further in front.

“They were two great goals and, at that stage, it looked like we might go on and get more.

“But every team is always going to have their chances and they took one and had a couple of others.

“In the end, I thought we finished the game calmly and collectively, it was a good win for us.

“It was great to see Gary get his first goal, it was a good finish and he has given us food for thought.”

The Poppies’ next test comes at Latimer Park on Saturday when they take on struggling AFC Hayes.

They will have Tommy Hull available again after he completed a two-match ban on Saturday and Baillie knows his return will only add to the selection dilemmas for him and Scott Machin.

He added: “It will be interesting for next week because we will have Tommy available again.

“It is a good position for any manager to be in but it will mean some difficult decisions.

“You find yourself leaving players out when they might not deserve it but you can’t play everybody.

“We will have Tommy back for the next game and we will have to see how it looks because he is a player we rate very highly.”