Players are keen to earn promotion, says Poppies boss Thomas

Poppies boss Dean Thomas was pleased with the 4-1 success over St Ives Town
Poppies boss Dean Thomas was pleased with the 4-1 success over St Ives Town

Dean Thomas says his Kettering Town players are “keen and eager” to earn promotion this season.

The Poppies made it two wins in the space of 48 hours at Latimer Park as they followed up Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Ashford Town (Middx) by beating St Ives Town 4-1 in front of over 500 fans.

James Clifton gave Kettering a 1-0 lead at the break but they blew the visitors away in the second half as Dubi Ogbonna struck against his former club before Jonathon Thorpe and Josh Moreman put them 4-0 up.

There was a low note, however, as goalkeeper Alastair Worby was sent off with 19 minutes to go for a professional foul on Avelino Vieira, who beat replacement goalkeeper Elliot Sandy from the resulting penalty.

But the victory saw the Poppies move to within three points of the play-off places in the Calor League Division One Central and confirmed their return to form following successive defeats at Barton Rovers and Uxbridge.

And with another home clash to come against Aylesbury on Saturday, Thomas believes a top-five finish can be achieved.

“It doesn’t really matter what the other teams do because if we keep winning then we will probably end up in the play-offs,” Thomas said.

“But we have some good teams to play, teams who are chasing promotion.

“The squad is good, they are a collective unit and it is great to see them winning games again.

“The attitude of the players has been fantastic. They are very keen, they are very eager, they want to try to get out of this league this season if they can and they want to play higher.

“It was important to bounce back from those two defeats but I know what we have in the dressing-room.

“We just have to keep our feet on the ground. Aylesbury have been on a decent run themselves and they will come here and put up some resistance.

“But we are looking forward to the next game and we will try to pick up another three points.”

On the performance against St Ives, Thomas was pleased with another dominant display from his side, despite the setback of Worby seeing red late on.

He added: “I thought we played well throughout the 90 minutes and I thought we controlled the game for long spells.

“We scored our goals at the right time to kill them off and we knocked out their enthusiasm really.

“I just said to them at half-time that they needed to go out there and blow them away, we didn’t want to let them back into it.

“They set up to frustrate us with five across the back but I thought our passing was good.

“Everyone played their part, although it was disappointing at the end with the goalkeeper being sent off because it was unnecessary.

“But these things happen, we saw the game through and did the right things to make sure we held on. It was a well deserved three points.”