Machin pleased with Poppies’ battling qualities

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

Scott Machin was pleased to see some battling qualities from Kettering Town as they fought back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw at Aylesbury United.

The Poppies looked to be in danger of slipping to a third defeat in four matches when they found themselves 2-0 down inside the first 20 minutes.

But Machin and fellow joint-boss Thomas Baillie reacted by making a tactical switch by throwing on Andy Gooding in place of Andy Hall and changing the team’s formation late in the first period.

Josh Moreman marked his return from a loan spell at Stamford by pulling a goal back before the break and then James Jepson’s excellent free-kick secured the Poppies their first draw in 44 competitive matches.

And it proved to be a useful point as it helped Kettering move five clear at the summit after second-placed Aylesbury were beaten 1-0 at Royston Town.

Machin revealed some “opinions were voiced” during the interval and he was happy to get the reaction.

He said: “It’s very easy when you a 2-0 down after half-an-hour to pack up and say ‘we aren’t going to win this game’,

“There were a few opinions voiced in the dressing-room at half-time, we sorted it out and they went out and delivered.

“We are all disappointed not to have got more from the game but it’s a massive point in my opinion. From being 2-0 down it’s definitely a point gained.

“Strangely enough I thought we started the game pretty well, we were on top but we have conceded a goal from our own corner.

“We have been done on the break and we have to make sure we don’t get caught on the counter-attack like that.

“And then they have scored one with a deflection and from that point, we lost our way. We were a bit disjointed, we looked nervous at the back and we were under a lot of pressure.

“But we got the goal just before half-time and that was the key element. We had changed the shape of our side before that and it worked for us.

“Bringing Andy Gooding on meant we could work our way through the midfield rather than pump long balls, which was what was happening.

“I thought we were in control in the second half and it looked like we wouldn’t get the breakthrough but James Jepson has come up with a great free-kick, which has got us a point.”

Machin, meanwhile, praised Moreman for his contribution after he was recalled from a loan spell at Stamford this week and thrown straight in from the start.

“I was very happy with what Josh did,” the joint-boss added.

“We sent him out to Stamford to get some game time because he has struggled all season after not getting a full pre-season due to injury and then an illness.

“We felt we needed a bit of a shake-up so we brought him back and he did fantastically well.

“He played out wide but did well and got himself a goal. I am pleased for him because it’s not easy when you have been out on loan and then come back into it. But he has done great.”

Machin also confirmed both Dubi Ogbonna and Jamie McAlindon missed the game due to illness.