Challenge Cup will serve a purpose for Poppies

Poppies manager Marcus Law
Poppies manager Marcus Law

Marcus Law felt Kettering Town got everything they wanted from last night’s (Tuesday) Evo-Stik South League Challenge Cup first-round success at Bedford Town.

While the manager himself was away on a ‘scouting mission’, his assistant Mitch Austin took charge of a much-changed Poppies team as goals from Gary Stohrer, Liam Bateman, Rhys Hoenes and Samson Maagbe secured a 4-2 success.

Kettering welcomed back James Brighton from a knee injury in the second half while Rene Howe was withdrawn as a precaution after picking up a knock.

But Law was pleased to see his side, who have now won 13 of their 14 matches in all competitions this season, move into the second round and he believes the competition will continue to serve a purpose for them.

The Poppies boss said: “We decided to use the majority of the fringe players but there were some who were unavailable and it meant we needed to use a few more of the first-team players than we might have liked to.

“But we got what we wanted from the game with the most important thing being a place in the next round.

“I think this competition, like the Hillier Cup, can be really important in the latter stages because they can keep you in a winning mentality at the back end of the season.

“They can be difficult in the early stages because you are juggling so many competitions at the same time.

“But I don’t think any club, particularly at this level, has a divine right to pick and choose what competition they should prioritise.

“We are striving to embed a winning mentality and we want that to be for every game the club plays, whether it is the league or the Hillier Cup.

“So I am delighted we have got through and we will look forward to the next round.”