Marcus Law believes Kettering Town’s continued interest in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup will only benefit the club’s crop of youngsters.
The Poppies moved into the next stage of the competition with a 2-1 victory over Corby Town at Latimer Park last night (Tuesday).
Both clubs fielded a mix of first-team and youth players with Kettering coming out on top thanks to goals from Jevani Brown and 16-year-old Ben Baker, who hit a late winner after Ashley Sammons had brought the Steelmen level.
And Poppies boss Law expects members of the club’s under-21 teams to get more minutes under their belts as the competition progresses.
“It was a competitive game, which was what both managers wanted,” he said.
“We had a fair few youngsters in our squad alongside some of the first-team lads and fair play to both sides because they went about things in the right way to create an open and competitive game.
“Being in this competition is a good thing because while friendly matches are okay, you can’t beat a competitive game where there has to be a definite outcome.
“It will always represent a good opportunity for the younger players and at the same time it gives me a chance to see how they are shaping up.”
Law, meanwhile, had further praise for match-winner Baker.
“I have been monitoring Ben’s progress and he did a lot of training with us during pre-season,” he added.
“He played extremely well in one of our friendlies and he was with us for the game at Barwell just before the season started but with the way the fixture went, it didn’t allow him to get on.
“Him and a few others have been looking for an opportunity and they got one.
“His attitude impressed me when he went on and he has managed to get the winner, which is something he should enjoy.”
The Poppies are now preparing for Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round clash with AFC Telford United at Latimer Park.
Don’t miss the thoughts of Brett Solkhon and Marcus Law in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph