Mixed feelings for Cox as Poppies make a point at Altrincham

Paul Cox was left with “mixed feelings” after Kettering Town picked up another point with a 1-1 draw at Altrincham.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 7:34 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th February 2020, 7:36 pm
Dan Nti's header finds the net to give Kettering Town the lead in their 1-1 draw at Altrincham. Pictures by Peter Short

The Poppies were up against a Robins team who beat them 2-0 at Latimer Park less than two weeks ago and were on the back of a 13-match unbeaten run on home soil.

But Kettering took a first-half lead thanks to a Dan Nti header before being pegged back when Toby Mularkey scored from close-range following a corner in the second period.

It all left Poppies boss Cox slightly disappointed to only head back south with just a point in the bag.

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Dan Nti celebrates with Gary Stohrer and Alistair Smith after giving the Poppies the lead

“I don’t think Altrincham were really playing through us or opening us up so to concede from a set-piece has left us coming in at the end with mixed feelings,” the Kettering manager said.

“Prior to the game, you look at Altrincham’s form especially at home and you would think that it would be a very good point on the road.

“But I think the boys are probably a little bit disappointed with the way we have conceded the goal. It’s mixed feelings for us because we possibly could have held on and taken all three.

“The home performance against Altrincham wasn’t us and we let ourselves and our supporters down on that night.

Paul Cox gives out some instructions from the sidelines at Moss Lane

“But this time the boys worked extremely hard, they were resolute when they needed to be and we have had other chances and, in my opinion, a couple of good penalty shouts as well.

“We have gone away from home for what was probably the hardest away game in the division on the day because of their current form and come back with something so we have to be pleased.”

The point did prove useful, however, as it helped the Poppies move seven clear of the Vanarama National League North relegation zone ahead of back-to-back home games with Guiseley next Saturday and Hereford a week on Tuesday.

And Cox believes his team are “making great strides” after he arrived at the end of October with the club firmly rooted in the relegation zone.

“When you look at the whole thing, you have to look at where we started and the position the club was in a few months ago,” he added.

“We are making great strides and the transformation in the players has been pleasing.

“Every point is precious and everyone would have loved three points at Altrincham but we have come away with one and it was deserved.”