Second-half reaction pleases Poppies joint-boss Baillie

Andy Hall was on target in Kettering Town's 3-1 win over North Greenford United
Andy Hall was on target in Kettering Town's 3-1 win over North Greenford United

Thomas Baillie was pleased with the second-half reaction from his Kettering Town players as they returned to winning ways in the Southern League Division One Central.

Having suffered their first defeat of the season at Leighton Town in midweek, the Poppies seemed to suffer a hangover as they trailed North Greenford United 1-0 at half-time at Latimer Park.

But two goals in the space of five minutes from Andy Hall and Brett Solkhon turned things around before Andy Gooding rounded it off with a stoppage-time penalty.

That made it four wins from five matches so far this season and the Poppies are now preparing to take on fellow early high-fliers and county rivals Daventry Town at Latimer Park tomorrow (Monday, 3pm).

Joint-manager Baillie admitted he and fellow boss Scott Machin “had words” with their players at half-time but he was left delighted with the way they responded.

Baillie said: “We were sloppy in the first half and never really got going. We were second to most things and their goal was a real scramble. We had no choice to come out a lot sharper in the second half.

“I will be honest, we had words with the players at half-time but we still felt we could win the game.

“We have plenty of quality and we have confidence in the players. We just need to understand the bits we weren’t doing properly and we addressed that.

“I thought we kept the ball brilliantly in the second half and we were unlucky to only score three.

“We know the pressure is always going to be on us to win games and the first half was nowhere near the level that Scott and I want.

“We made them aware of that at half-time and I think they responded to it.”

Baillie, meanwhile, confirmed a further conversation would be held with striker Dubi Ogbonna following his behaviour at the end of the match.

The striker wanted to take the penalty in stoppage-time but was forced to hand the ball over to regular spot-kick taker Gooding.

Ogbonna had to be calmed by his own team-mates after Gooding had scored and then stormed down the tunnel instead of going to the touchline when he was replaced by substitute Ross Oulton.

And Baillie insisted the frontman’s behaviour was “simply not acceptable”.

He added: “Dubi wanted to take the penalty but facts are facts and Andy Gooding is our penalty taker, end of.

“This is a team game, it’s not about one player and every player has to be prepared to be part of the team and part of the squad.

“We have already had a chat with Dubi and we will have a further conversation with him.

“But walking off like he did is simply not acceptable and he has been told.”