Ramshaw: It will be a very good side who finishes above Kettering

Michael Richens and Mathew Stevens celebrate Kettering Town's opening goal in their 2-0 win over Stratford Town at Latimer Park. Pictures by Peter Short
Michael Richens and Mathew Stevens celebrate Kettering Town's opening goal in their 2-0 win over Stratford Town at Latimer Park. Pictures by Peter Short

John Ramshaw believes anyone who finishes above Kettering Town this season will have to be a “very good side”.

The Poppies maintained their magnificent home form in the Evo-Stik South League Premier with a ninth win and eighth clean sheet in 10 matches at Latimer Park as they saw off Stratford Town 2-0 in sub-zero conditions.

Mathew Stevens challenges Stratford goalkeeper Louis Connor in the build-up to the Poppies' controversial opener

Mathew Stevens challenges Stratford goalkeeper Louis Connor in the build-up to the Poppies' controversial opener

A controversial own-goal from visiting goalkeeper Louis Connor gave Kettering an early advantage and Rene Howe rounded off a deserved victory two minutes from full-time.

And it proved to be a good day to pick up another win as leaders King’s Lynn Town suffered a shock 5-2 loss at Farnborough while fellow high-fliers Tiverton Town and Slough Town also lost.

Kettering are now just four points behind King’s Lynn with two games in hand and head coach Ramshaw believes his team showed their strength in their latest success.

“I thought we were excellent,” he said.

Rene Howe was all smiles as he grabbed the second goal to wrap up Kettering's success

Rene Howe was all smiles as he grabbed the second goal to wrap up Kettering's success

“We looked like a big, strong side who are hard to beat and I just said to the players after the game that if we play like that until the end of the season, it’s going to be a very good side that finishes above us.

“It’s still early doors but when you are in that top five or six in any league, you look for other teams’ results right from the first game of the season.

“We’ve got a good idea who the seven or teams who will be featuring in the promotion places at the end of the season so you watch every game and you kick every ball.

“But I will just repeat what I have said numerous times before. If we keep doing what we are good at then we are a very hard side to beat.”

Ramshaw, meanwhile, felt the final outcome of this game was “never in doubt” as the Poppies turned in another impressive display.

And he is delighted to see the tweaks the team have made to make them tough to beat on their own ground paying off.

“After about 75 minutes I turned to (coach) Craig Mander and said to him that we had put enough good balls into the box and put enough round the back to win three football matches,” Ramshaw added.

“They defended stoically but we wore them down and got the second goal.

“But it was a game, to me, even at 1-0 that was never in doubt.

“We have worked on things over the course of the season, just to alter our game slightly when we are at home and it’s been very effective.

“The boys are now believing that teams have got to come here and do their very best to even stand a chance against us and long may that continue.”

The Poppies are due to be back in action for a third successive home game on Tuesday night when they entertain Royston Town.