Key players set to return for Poppies

Rene Howe should be back in Kettering Town's squad at the weekend
Rene Howe should be back in Kettering Town's squad at the weekend

Kettering Town’s squad should look stronger and healthier by the time they head to Dorchester Town this weekend.

As expected, boss Marcus Law made changes for Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat local rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds as the Poppies’ hopes in the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup were ended.

In the end, the Kettering boss actually made more changes that he would have liked after goalkeeper Paul White was removed from the starting line-up after the warm-up.

But the Poppies will be back to somewhere near full-strength when they resume their Evo-Stik South League Premier campaign.

White and Gary Mulligan (hamstring) are expected to be fit while Aaron O’Connor and Rene Howe will also return, although Michael Richens sits out the second of a two-match ban while Durrell Berry is now a long-term absentee after rupturing his Achilles tendon.

“We took Paul out of it as a precaution,” Law said.

“He was feeling something in his back and there was no need to risk him.

“We have a massive game on Saturday and that was the decision we took.

“It meant the young lad (Justin Greatorex) went in there and it was a tough evening for him but hopefully it’s something he will learn from.”

“The same went for Gary really. He could have played and he would have played if it had been a league game but we chose to hold him back.

“We decided to rest Rene as well. And there were others out there who shouldn’t have played but we wanted to be as strong as possible.

“The important thing now is making sure we justify the changes we made by getting things right at Dorchester.”