Poppies’ and Terras’ struggles shows the league’s strength

Kettering Town manager Marcus Law takes his team to Weymouth this weekend
Kettering Town manager Marcus Law takes his team to Weymouth this weekend

Marcus Law believes the fact Kettering Town and Weymouth aren’t in the promotion shake-up shows the strength of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division this season.

The Poppies make the long trip south to take on the Terras tomorrow (Saturday) with their campaign hanging by the thinnest of threads following last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to Chesham United.

Kettering are 11 points behind fifth-placed Merthyr Town with just 10 games to play and their trip to Weymouth is followed by another away game at second-placed Leamington next Tuesday night after the previous meeting between the two was abandoned due to a floodlight failure while the Poppies were leading 1-0.

The reality of the situation is that Law’s team look likely to miss out on an extended season for the second year in a row.

The likes of Kettering, Weymouth and King’s Lynn Town had all been fancied to challenge for promotion but they all find themselves off the pace with just a couple of months of the campaign remaining.

The inquest into the Poppies’ failure has already begun amongst the fanbase.

And while Law insists his team will keep going until reaching the play-offs is mathematically impossible, he knows a “review” will be needed should they not achieve their original target for the campaign.

“Weymouth have a reasonable budget and they are a traditional non-League club,” Law said.

“They are on a par with us and King’s Lynn and the fact none of us are in the play-off places shows that the league is far stronger than people give it credit for.

“It shows that having a rich history and good crowds doesn’t guarantee you anything.

“Until it is mathematically impossible, we will keep going.

“We have two away games in a row and we have been very confident on the road and we are going into them believing we can get maximum points.

“If we didn’t believe that then there wouldn’t be any point going out there. We will do all we can to pick up some points.

“There are still some strange results around and we saw that with Dorchester winning at Hitchin on Monday night.

“We will keep going but once it becomes unattainable, we will have to review.”

Weymouth go into tomorrow’s game on the back of three successive draws in the league, the latest of which was a 2-2 stalemate with Hayes & Yeading United.