Law lays down another challenge to Poppies

Marcus Law says Kettering Town have another challenge in front of them this weekend
Marcus Law says Kettering Town have another challenge in front of them this weekend

Marcus Law says his Kettering Town players have “another box to tick” when they take on Merthyr Town at Latimer Park on Saturday.

The Poppies boss has made no secret of the fact that he has been laying down the challenges to his squad since the start of the new season.

Whether it is beating teams they didn’t beat in the last campaign or trying to get further in knockout competitions, Law has demanded more.

And, so far, he has had just that.

Kettering head into this weekend’s clash sitting on top of the Evo-Stik South League Premier while Tuesday’s 4-2 success at Bedford Town in the first round of the Bigfreebet.com Challenge Cup made it 13 wins from 14 matches in all competitions.

But they are now gearing up for another huge test against in-form Merthyr who sit in fifth place in the table.

Merthyr inflicted a 3-1 defeat on the Poppies in the equivalent fixture last season.

And while Law would like to avenge that, he has come up with a couple of other tests for his players to pass on Saturday.

“We have another challenge in front of us,” he said.

“In the two seasons I have been back here, we haven’t won our 10th league game of the season.

“And if we can win on Saturday then it will mean we have picked up more points in one season than we did if you put the first 10 games of the past two seasons together.

“It’s another box to tick and I think the players are excited by these challenges we keep throwing at them.”

The Poppies will be checking up on a couple of injuries ahead of the game after captain Brett Solkhon was withdrawn at half-time in last weekend’s 3-2 success at Basford United in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Rene Howe also went off injured at Bedford on Tuesday but there was positive news as James Brighton made his return from a knee problem.

Law deployed Liam Bateman at centre-half after Solkhon’s injury and he played there again on Tuesday while also scoring his first goal for the club.

And the Poppies boss added: “I think our management of the situations has been excellent.

“We didn’t want to bring Brett off at half-time on Saturday but we always have plans A, B and C in place.

“We put Liam on at centre-half because we trust his aerial ability and his mobility. He might not be a big, bruising defender but he is capable of doing that role and he has proved it.

“So we are feeling comfortable about things at the moment.”