Poppies well-placed as halfway point approaches

Poppies joint-manager Thomas Baillie
Poppies joint-manager Thomas Baillie
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Thomas Baillie insists Kettering Town are happy with where they find themselves as the halfway point of the season approaches.

The Poppies produced an impressive display at the weekend as they ended Chalfont St Peter’s six-game winning streak with a 2-0 success at Latimer Park thanks to goals from Brett Solkhon and Dubi Ogbonna.

The victory ensured Kettering maintained their five-point lead at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central while they also have a game in hand on second-placed Bedworth United.

It’s a position that has left joint-boss Baillie content, although he insists the squad will be striving to be even better in the coming weeks.

“We are happy with the way things have gone,” he said.

“But, on the other side of it, I don’t think you are ever happy, you always want more and always want to be better.

“I think the performance on Saturday was as good as it has been for a number of weeks and we are really pleased with the position we find ourselves in.

“If someone had said we would be five points clear with a game in hand just before the halfway point, we would have taken it without any doubt.”

The Poppies face another big game on Saturday when they travel to third-placed Hanwell Town.

A victory will see Kettering open up a 10-point lead over one of their fellow high-fliers and a selection headache will be in store for Baillie and fellow joint-boss Scott Machin with Andy Hall and James Clifton both available again after they served one-match bans at the weekend.

“We have a week to recover and prepare for another big game next weekend,” Baillie added.

“It’s nice to not have a midweek match for a few weeks and we can concentrate on training and preparing.

“We have the likes of Andy Hall and James Clifton to come back into things this week and we will make sure we are ready for Hanwell on Saturday.”

The Poppies, meanwhile, are set to be without goalkeeper Jamie McAlindon for another two or three weeks as he nurses a groin injury, meaning recent signing Richard Knight will continue between the sticks.