Marcus Law is looking forward to seeing what the Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round draw throws up tomorrow (Monday) after Kettering Town earned their spot with a hard-fought 3-2 success at Basford United.
The Poppies looked to be in control when Rhys Hoenes and Aaron O’Connor put them 2-0 up in the first half.
But the high-flying Evo-Stik League South hosts fought back to draw level at 2-2 before top scorer O’Connor hit the late winner to send Kettering through and inflict a first defeat of the season on Basford.
The Poppies will now be in the hat alongside the Vanarama National League clubs in the draw, which will be broadcast live on radio station talkSPORT2 from 1pm tomorrow.
And Law, who was impressed with the contributions of Hoenes and O’Connor, is hoping his team can go one better after being knocked out by Solihull Moors in the fourth qualifying round last year.
The Poppies boss, whose team have now won 12 out of 13 matches in all competitions, said: “It was a typical FA Cup tie. There was no real quality, just pure endeavour from both teams and it was all about trying to be in the hat. We have done it and we are delighted.
“It wasn’t an easy task and I think we started far better and deserved to be in front.
“It forced them to change things and we struggled to deal with them for 10 to 15 minutes either side of half-time.
“And for the last 20 minutes it became a case of who could find a winner on the counter-attack and I just felt we had the edge on that.
“It helps when you have someone like Aaron in the team. He is a constant threat and we know that if he plays a whole season, he is going to be looking at at least a goal every two games.
“He’s come up with the winner for us but I also have to mention Rhys Hoenes because he was a constant thorn in their side. They struggled to deal with him and deserves to be singled out.
“We set ourselves the task of bettering what we did in every department to last season and I think we have done that in the league so far.
“In FA Cup, we got to the fourth qualifying round last season so we would love to go one better.
“We will see what the draw throws up. There’s a chance of getting a big National League side or potentially someone in and around us that might give us a good opportunity of going on and getting in there with the Football League clubs.
“We will just see what we get and then we can look forward to it.”
Law, meanwhile, was pleased with the contribution of goalkeeper Jordan Wright, who made his debut for the club in place of the suspended Paul White after joining on loan from Nottingham Forest on Friday.
“I thought Jordan did well,” Law added.
“It’s difficult for him. He has played a few non-League games but it this was a difficult one to come into.
“He’s a good size and he’s a good lad. He was positive in his decisions and he didn’t let anyone down so we are happy with him.”