Don’t encourage our rivals, warns Poppies joint-boss Machin

Kettering Town joint-manager Scott Machin
Kettering Town joint-manager Scott Machin

Scott Machin has urged his Kettering Town players to ensure they don’t offer any encouragement to their rivals.

The Poppies are preparing for one of the biggest games of the season so far when they take on Aylesbury at Latimer Park tomorrow (Saturday).

Last weekend’s 2-1 win over AFC Hayes saw them move three points clear of second-placed Bedworth United and five ahead of this weekend’s opponents in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.

With the Poppies still having a game in hand on both their rivals, their fate remains in their own hands.

And Machin wants them to keep it that way.

“These are the games you play for, this is why you put yourselves through everything that has already happened,” Machin said.

“For them, it’s a must-win. For us, of course we want to win the game and we will be trying to do that. But it’s not a desperate situation as far as we are concerned.

“At the moment it is in our hands, we are the masters of our own destiny.

“The teams around us are waiting for us to slip up and it is up to us to make sure we don’t give them that opportunity.

“Aylesbury are a good side, the games we have had against them have been very close and I am sure they will come here and have a right go at us.

“Like all teams, they will have spells when they will put us under pressure and it’s important we deal with that and then make sure we take our chances when they come.”

Machin has also called on the Poppies fans to play their part at the weekend as he praised them for their support in the victory over Hayes, despite a poor display from their team.

“The fans never got on the team’s back and that helped,” Machin added.

“It can make it difficult when that happens but the supporters were right behind us despite how poorly we played and they really drove us on to the win.

“The more vocal they are, the more intimidating it becomes for the opposition and we will need that again.”

Kettering are set to have top scorer Dubi Ogbonna available again after he missed the win over Hayes due to a foot injury picked up in training.