Poppies aiming to extend their advantage

Claudiu Hoban is hoping to be fit for Kettering Town's clash at Bedworth United
Claudiu Hoban is hoping to be fit for Kettering Town's clash at Bedworth United

Kettering Town have the opportunity to move 10 points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central tonight (Tuesday).

The Poppies make the short trip to take on third-placed Bedworth United, who play on a 3G surface, for a match which is their game in hand on second-placed Hanwell Town.

But Bedworth could close the gap at the top if they can become just the fourth team to beat Kettering in the league this season.

And Poppies joint-boss Thomas Baillie believes his team will need to be better than they were at the weekend when they had to fight back from 2-0 to beat Potters Bar Town 3-2 at Latimer Park.

“They have a different surface up there so we have to take that into account when it comes to selecting our team,” he said.

“I think Bedworth were expected to be up there and they are having a good season.

“They have some decent players and their strikers have scored a lot of goals.

“It is going to be a big test for us but I think it will be a big test for them as well.

“We know that if we win then it opens up a bigger gap. But we also know that we will have to be better than we were, certainly for the first half-an-hour, on Saturday.

“It was a terrific fightback from the players and they showed a lot of character. But we possibly got out of jail as well so we have to make sure we are better.”

Baillie is hoping winger Claudiu Hoban will be fit after he missed Saturday’s clash after picking up an injury in training.

And the Poppies squad will have another new face in it after the club signed goalkeeper Richard Knight from Cambridge City yesterday to provide cover and competition for number one Jamie McAlindon.

Baillie added: “We need cover for Jamie and we also need some competition for him as well.

“There was a point on Thursday last week when Jamie was struggling to kick the ball due to a groin problem.

“We have been carrying on without a second goalkeeper and we have been running the risk of not having any cover should anything happen to Jamie.

“I think the competition will do him good and Richard is a very experienced goalkeeper who has played a decent level. It is a perfect combination for us.”