'One game at a time' as Kettering Town strike back

Coach Joe Simpson insists Kettering Town must take things “a game at a time” after they maintained their interest in the Vanarama National League North play-off race on Good Friday.

Saturday, 16th April 2022, 7:48 am
Kettering Town first-team coach Joe Simpson watches on from the sidelines during the 1-0 victory over Gloucester City. Pictures by Peter Short
Kettering Town first-team coach Joe Simpson watches on from the sidelines during the 1-0 victory over Gloucester City. Pictures by Peter Short

Having slumped to a shock 2-0 home defeat to bottom side Guiseley on Tuesday night, the Poppies bounced back with a win as Callum Stead’s second-half penalty secured a 1-0 win over Gloucester City in front of a bank holiday crowd of 967 - the third highest attendance at Latimer Park this season.

The victory moved Kettering back into eighth place and just one point adrift of the top seven with five games to go.

The Poppies now have a tough three-game stretch ahead of them with a trip to fourth-placed Kidderminster Harriers on Easter Monday (3pm) being followed by a home clash with current leaders Gateshead (April 23) and an away game at third-placed AFC Fylde (April 30).

But Simpson, who was pleased with the reaction of the squad, is looking no further ahead than the next game.

“I couldn’t even tell you who we have got after Kidderminster,” the first-team coach said.

“You have to take it a game at a time because I am pretty sure that everyone after the York win would have been counting the points from the games after it.

“You have to respect every team in this division, everyone can cause you a problem.

Action from the Poppies' win on Good Friday

“We will go and give it a go against a hell of a side on Monday and we will see what happens.

“It was a positive reaction and we commend the boys because, as difficult as the surface is, we have tried to play and we created some good moments.

“The penalty came about from a good bit of quality and the three points are massively important.

“We have some very good technical players here and I am not sure they get to show that off.

“But when they compose themselves, little moments do come out. There are bits in there.”

The Poppies were without experienced defender Liam Daly but Simpson was still pleased to see the team secure a clean sheet.

“He (Daly) has had a lot of minutes go into those legs in a short space of time and he’s been colossal for us,” Simpson added.

“But it says a lot for the squad that Smudge (Chris Smith) can come in and play as well as he did. Hopefully Liam will be back with us on Monday, if not just after,

“The lads are colossal back there. They are a tough nut to crack, they chuck their bodies in the way and they work their socks off. They are a good bunch.”