Steve Kinniburgh insists everyone at Kettering Town must “enjoy the moment” after they secured title glory.
The Poppies were beaten 3-0 at Rugby Town yesterday (Monday) but disappointment soon turned into celebration for the 900-plus army of supporters at Butlin Road as their team were confirmed as Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central champions after second-placed Aylesbury could only draw 0-0 with Aylesbury United.
The defeat brought an end to Kettering’s unbeaten run of 14 matches but it was that streak that ultimately secured the title, a fact captain Kinniburgh was quick to acknowledge.
“There are certain points in a season where you need to kick on and we did that in January and February,” he said.
“We went 14 games unbeaten and that is what got us over the line. Teams like Bedworth and Aylesbury fell away a bit and we have a squad that is mentally tough to get us through.
“Obviously, you would rather win the game to secure the title but it’s what you do over the season that matters.
“And we have been the best team throughout the campaign. We have picked up the most points, scored the most goals and conceded the least.
“From August to April, we have been the best side and we deserve it.
“It was very subdued straight after the game and then someone told us Aylesbury were drawing 0-0 and then the place erupted when it was confirmed.
“There is nothing that beats winning a trophy. You will have loads of ups and downs in your life and career and you have to enjoy these moments because they don’t come along very often.”
The Poppies travel to Barton Rovers this weekend and are set to be presented with the championship trophy following their final home game against Bedworth United on April 18.
Don’t miss more reaction to the Poppies’ title success in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph