Second chance arrives for Poppies to clinch the crown

This late Alvechurch goal stopped Kettering Town from claiming the title last weekend. The Poppies will be hoping there are no mistakes when they bid to get over the line at Halesowen Town tomorrow. Picture by Peter Short
This late Alvechurch goal stopped Kettering Town from claiming the title last weekend. The Poppies will be hoping there are no mistakes when they bid to get over the line at Halesowen Town tomorrow. Picture by Peter Short

Kettering Town will bid to seize their second chance to clinch the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central title when they head to Halesowen Town this weekend.

The Poppies were denied the opportunity to clinch the crown last Saturday after they suffered a 2-1 defeat to play-off contenders Alvechurch in front of over 1,500 fans at Latimer Park.

However, with other results going in their favour, Marcus Law’s team now know they require just one point from their final four matches to seal promotion to the Vanarama National League North.

And the Poppies boss is keen to ensure his team make no mistake when they travel to Halesowen, who have to win to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation alive.

“We felt a little bit low following all the hype for last Saturday and then not bringing it through,” Law said.

“The strange thing is that, even though we lost, we are now closer to the title than we were before last weekend.

“So we have to do our work this week and we will go to Halesowen with a positive mindset, knowing that if we produce a good performance then we will give ourselves a big chance of getting to where we want to be.”

While the Poppies will be looking to do the job themselves, their local rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds could even do them a favour this weekend.

Second-placed Stourbridge head to Hayden Road knowing only a win will do to keep their slim hopes of catching the Poppies alive.

And Law added: “We know there is a game elsewhere that could have an impact on it all but we have got to focus on our own job.

“Halesowen need the points for their own reasons and they, like Alvechurch, will want to stop us.

“We have had to deal with that all season so it’s nothing new. We have just got to carry on doing what we have done all year.”