Machin expecting a ‘big test’ for Poppies

Kettering Town joint-manager Scott Machin
Kettering Town joint-manager Scott Machin

Kettering Town put their 100 per cent record on the line again in the Southern League Division One Central at Leighton Town tonight (Tuesday).

And joint-manager Scott Machin is expecting “another big test” against a side who have also enjoyed an unbeaten start to the new campaign and who claimed an impressive 2-0 win at Bedford Town at the weekend.

At the same time, the Poppies were picking up their third win from as many matches as they maintained their perfect start with a 3-0 success at Egham Town.

But Machin insists his team will have to “apply” themselves properly again tonight while he also conceded the squad may come into play with a bank holiday weekend double-header fast approaching.

“It is going to be another big test for us,” Machin said.

“They are unbeaten so far and had a good win at the weekend so we will have to apply ourselves in the right way again if we are to get another positive result.

“We are really pleased with how we have started but we will remain cautious.

“We played some good stuff again on Saturday and we scored two very early goals, which is always helpful.

“We have to think about utilising the whole squad because the games are coming thick and fast and we have two more over the bank holiday weekend.

“We tried to use as many of the lads as possible at Egham on Saturday and we have to make sure we keep the squad as fresh as possible.”

Early goals have proved crucial in the Poppies’ last two outings as they struck early to set up a 5-0 success over Northwood last week before finding themselves 2-0 up inside seven minutes at the weekend.

And while Machin can’t promise early goals in every game, he insists the players will be encouraged to get out of the blocks quickly again this evening.

“We are always trying to get them to start games as well as they can and it has worked for us in the last two games,” he added.

“If you can get on the front foot and get an early goal then there is a chance it will discourage the opposition a bit.

“That’s what we are trying to do. Of course, it won’t be like that every week but we will keep encouraging the players to try to get at our opponents right from the start.”

The Poppies are set to have a full strength squad to choose from again with goalkeeper Jamie McAlindon likely to be fit after he required two stitches after suffering a cut lip in Saturday’s victory.