Doyle wants a good haul of Christmas points for Poppies

Poppies manager Alan Doyle
Poppies manager Alan Doyle

Alan Doyle is targeting a good haul of points from Kettering Town’s festive fixtures.

The Poppies head to Hitchin Town in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division on Boxing Day (1pm kick-off) knowing a positive result is crucial against the team who sit immediately above the relegation zone.

Hitchin are still 19 points clear of Kettering, who still seem destined for relegation despite picking up two wins from their last three games.

The Poppies’ clash with Weymouth at Steel Park on Sunday was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, a situation that left Doyle frustrated after his team had bounced back from their 7-0 thrashing at Gosport Borough with an impressive 2-1 success at play-off chasing Barwell.

But he has now set his sights on the Christmas programme with an away game at Banbury United next Saturday and a home clash with Bedford Town at Steel Park on January 2 following on.

“It was disappointing that the weather went against us over the weekend but it was pretty much the same for everyone,” Doyle said.

“We had a full squad available for the game and I think we were hopeful of a big crowd after the win at Barwell.

“It is a shame because the revenue from the gate is money that is so important to the club at the moment.

“But now we have to try to get as many points as we can over the Christmas period and that starts on Boxing Day.

“I have looked ahead to our fixtures early in the new year and after we play Bedford on January 2, we have a run of games against side towards the top who all have good budgets. It will be tough.

“It remains a very strange division because the results are up and down all the time.

“Hitchin have been down there and they won on the same night we won at Barwell.

“We then have Banbury on Saturday and they haven’t done badly but had a 4-0 defeat at the weekend, which I watched.

“We have a busy time coming up and the best way to prepare is to focus on ourselves and making sure we are ready.”