Plenty at stake as Poppies bid for more FA Cup joy

The Kettering Town players turn their attention to the Emirates FA Cup this weekend after maintaining top spot in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central with a 3-1 win at Alvechurch last Saturday. Picture by Peter Short
The Kettering Town players turn their attention to the Emirates FA Cup this weekend after maintaining top spot in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central with a 3-1 win at Alvechurch last Saturday. Picture by Peter Short

Marcus Law knows there is a lot at stake for both Kettering Town and Hednesford Town when they do battle in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup this weekend.

The Poppies have enjoyed an impressive start to the new season and sit on top of the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central after they picked up their seventh win from eight matches with a 3-1 success at Alvechurch last weekend.

They followed that up with a 3-2 victory at Banbury United in the first round of the Southern League Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.

But Law is now fully focused on tomorrow's (Saturday) tie at Latimer Park as the Poppies bid to move a step closer to the first round proper and bag themselves £15,000 in the process.

“It’s a huge game for both clubs,” the Kettering manager said.

“Even if you take away the heritage of the competition for a moment, the cash injection the FA have given it this season means there is pressure and excitement coming from all sides of the club because there is a lot at stake.

“And, for the players, they are hoping it will be them who are in the first round and on the television playing against a Football League club.

“It’s a great competition to have a run in but we know it will be a tough game this weekend.

“It’s nice to have home advantage but once you get to this stage, you know every game will be difficult.”

Law will once again be locking horns with Hednesford manager Rob Smith and assistant Larry Chambers, who have been mainstays in the non-League game for a number of years.

The Pitmen sit in mid-table in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division after picking up a 2-1 success at Grantham Town on Tuesday night.

And the Poppies boss added: “We will have a look at them but I know their management team really well and they have been to us here before when they were with AFC Telford United.

“I have known them pretty much from when I first started out some 20 years ago and I know what to expect.

“They will be lively and they will be physical. They will work hard and we will have to match that.”