Law wants his Poppies firing in play-off showdown

Marcus Law and the Kettering Town fans will be hoping their team can book a place in the Evo-Stik South League Premier play-off final when they head to Slough Town tonight. Picture by Peter Short
Marcus Law and the Kettering Town fans will be hoping their team can book a place in the Evo-Stik South League Premier play-off final when they head to Slough Town tonight. Picture by Peter Short

Marcus Law knows Kettering Town have the firepower to get past Slough Town and move a step closer to promotion tonight (Wednesday).

The big day has arrived for the Poppies as they make the trip to Arbour Park to take on the Rebels in the Evo-Stik South League Premier play-off semi-finals with the winners going on to play either King’s Lynn Town or Weymouth in the final on Bank Holiday Monday.
A remarkable campaign, which saw the top five in the division dominate proceedings, comes down to 90 minutes, although extra-time and penalties will come into play if honours end even.
The Poppies, who are set to be backed by a large army of supporters this evening, head into the clash on the back of a 6-2 victory over Farnborough on the final day of the regular season.
That saw Law’s team make it 122 goals scored in the 46-game season while Aaron O’Connor, Mathew Stevens and Brett Solkhon were all among the top 10 goalscorers in the league.
And Law, whose team also have the NFA Hillier Cup final against Brackley Town to look forward to a week tomorrow, believes the Poppies will have a “fantastic chance” of progressing into the final if they put it all together once more tonight.
“It’s cup football now,” the Kettering manager said.
“We have got potentially three cup finals over the next week or so and hopefully we can come out on top in all of them to cap off what has been a successful season when you look at the points obtained and goals scored.
“We just need to go and enjoy it as much as we can and take the game as it comes.
“I think our strength lies in our firepower, our ‘goals for’ column gives us confidence in every game we play.
“And we have a goalkeeper (Paul White) who has kept a record number of clean sheets this season.
“There are areas we need to tidy up on defensively and we know that.
“But if everyone is on form and plays to their full potential then we will give ourselves a fantastic chance.”
It won’t be an easy task, however. Slough are the form team going into the play-offs having won nine of their last 10 league matches while drawing the other as they snatched home advantage by finishing in third place.
Kettering enjoyed a 2-1 success on the 4G surface at Arbour Park on the first day of the season while the reverse fixture saw the two teams cancel each other out in a 0-0 draw at Latimer Park.
And Law added: “Slough have been extremely good over the last few weeks.
“They have managed their schedule well and they have got the home advantage so you have to give them credit for that.
“But I think we can go there with confidence given how we did against them in the two games during the season and we have done pretty well when we have played on artificial pitches.
“We will go there having done all the normal preparation and hopefully the boys can make it a night to remember.”
The Poppies are set to be without captain Solkhon who is likely to be ruled out with the groin injury he picked up in Saturday’s final-day win over Farnborough.

For live updates on tonight’s play-off semi-final follow Jon Dunham on Twitter @JonDunhamNT and then find a full report and reaction on this website www.northantstelegraph.co.uk