No 'sob stories' from boss Cox after Kettering Town are beaten at home
The Poppies slipped to a third loss in four Vanarama National League North matches
Paul Cox refused to tell any “sob stories” after Kettering Town suffered their first home defeat of the Vanarama National League North season last night (Tuesday).
The Poppies were edged out 1-0 by early high-flyers Southport in what was Kettering’s third loss in four league matches so far.
The decisive moment came in the first half as the Sandgrounders grabbed what proved to be the winner with their only attempt on target when captain David Morgan was allowed too much space to beat Adam Collin with a low shot into the far corner.
By that stage, Luke Graham had already struck the crossbar from close-range for the hosts and more chances went begging in the second half.
With Kettering dominating possession, they were unable to find a way through a resolute visiting defence with Ryan Fryatt out of luck as his header crashed off the inside of the post while Ben Stephens headed straight at David Hanford before the Southport goalkeeper sealed the win with a fine save to deny Connor Kennedy late on.
It could be argued that the Poppies deserved more than they got but a frustrated Cox knows his team must start making their own luck.
“There is massive frustration,” the Kettering manager said.
“I don’t think we started well, which frustrated me because we had an understanding of what they would bring and how they would play.
“The one mistake we have made defensively, we have been punished for but I am more disappointed with us not being ruthless enough in the final third.
“The game was lost with them scoring a chance and us not taking any of the ones we created.
“There are no complaints, you get what you deserve in this game. They came and were resolute, you can see why they are up there early on.
“I thought we bossed the second half, I can’t recall Adam Collin making another save apart from the chance that went in. But at this level you get punished, it’s as simple as that.
“Territorially, we were easily the better side in the second half but it doesn’t matter. Territorial advantage means nothing if you can’t put the ball in the back of the net.
“For all our hard work and application to go and win the game, it counts for nothing if you don’t go and finish teams off.
“People might say we were a bit unlucky because we hit the woodwork twice but I think you make your own luck and I want us to make our own luck.
“We had some good chances where we have to do better. There are no sob stories from me, we have got to turn those chances into goals.”
The Poppies have just one win to their name from the first four league matches this season, although they early standings show they have played the top two of AFC Fylde and Gloucester City while Southport moved up to fourth with their win last night.
“It’s been a bit of a baptism of fire for us having played the teams who make up the top two at the moment and the team that sits in fourth,” Cox added.
“We are sat with three points. Looking at the mistakes we made at Fylde, who I think are favourites to win it, and then this game, I feel a bit disappointed that we haven’t got anything out of the games because I felt we deserved more.
“But, on the flip side, you get what you deserve and some of us need to grow up and be a bit more ruthless and adapt to this level of football. And we certainly have to be more ruthless in both boxes.”
The Poppies are without a game this weekend due to Covid-19 concerns within the Hereford squad and are due to return to action a week on Saturday when Curzon Ashton are the visitors to Latimer Park.