Pressure is on as Poppies bid to bounce back

Marcus Law admits Kettering Town have put themselves under a bit of pressure as they get ready for a trip to Merthyr Town this weekend.

Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 2:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 2:17 pm
Gary Stohrer missed Kettering Town's 1-1 draw with Kings Langley last weekend due to illness

The Poppies head to South Wales having picked up just one point from their last two games after a 3-2 defeat at Basingstoke Town was followed by a 1-1 draw with Kings Langley at Latimer Park last weekend.

Kettering remain in second place in the Evo-Stik South League Premier but both they and leaders King’s Lynn Town now have Hereford breathing down their necks with the Bulls two points behind the Poppies and three behind the Linnets with four games in hand on both.

And Law knows there is little room for error tomorrow (Saturday) as his team travel to Merthyr, who have dropped down the league following some off-field issues.

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“When you get towards the latter stages of the season and you are in the mix then every game becomes a cup final and every point is massively important,” Law said.

“By only picking up one point in the last two games, we have put pressure on ourselves to gain a maximum return from the next two matches.

“It’s not going to be easy at all tomorrow. Merthyr have had their off-field problems but they have been fighting hard and they held Hereford over the Christmas period.

“Their home form is particularly good and the 4G surface will play a part in that.

“But we have got to go and make sure we come away with something.”

Frustrations boiled over at Latimer Park last Saturday with Law involved in an angry exchange with at least one Poppies fan after Rene Howe’s stoppage-time own-goal gifted a point to Kings Langley.

The manager has since apologised for his part in the spat.

And, having now watched the game back, he added: “There were frustrations and it all boiled over a bit, the fact is we squandered two points with a last-minute own-goal. It’s bound to cause frustration from all directions.

“It would have been perfect to break through the 60-point barrier with two games to play this month but it didn’t happen and I don’t think we got what we deserved from the game.

“I watched the game back and looked at certain situations and we were never under any real pressure, despite Kings Langley having spells of possession.

“We were denied a goal by a narrow offside call, I expected Rene Howe to do better with the one where he has hit the post and I know Aaron O’Connor was disappointed not to score a one-on-one in the first half.

“And for us to then have a lapse in concentration like we did was hugely frustrating.

“But we have to move on. There’s so much to play for and we have to bounce back this weekend.”

Kettering could again be without Gary Stohrer for tomorrow's clash after he missed last weekend’s draw after being left housebound because of illness.