Southport will provide a 'major test' to Poppies' fine home form

Lee Glover believes Kettering Town’s impressive home form will receive a “major test” when they take on Southport at Latimer Park on Saturday.
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The Poppies have won five of their last six games on home soil while drawing the other with their latest success being a 1-0 victory over Gloucester City in the second round of the Isuzu FA Trophy last weekend.

However, the club are now awaiting to see what becomes of them in this season’s Trophy after it emerged that Tyrone Lewthwaite, who scored the winner against Gloucester, had already played in an earlier round for former club Bedford Town.

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Kettering are likely to be hit with a punishment from the FA and could face expulsion from the competition, although for the time being, they were included in Tuesday’s third-round draw which saw them handed a trip to National League side Gateshead with the tie due to be played on Saturday, December 17.

Kettering Town manager Lee Glover. Picture by Peter ShortKettering Town manager Lee Glover. Picture by Peter Short
Kettering Town manager Lee Glover. Picture by Peter Short

Regardless of what happens, however, the Poppies’ form at home has been impressive, although they are yet to win away from home in the Vanarama National League North this season.

The Poppies remain just above the relegation zone while this weekend’s visitors are sitting in the final play-off position.

And boss Glover knows his team can’t afford to get ahead of themselves.

“It will be a major test,” the Poppies boss said.

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“They have had a few of their players return from injury over the past month and it’s seen an increase in the points they have taken.

“I have watched a few of their games now and they are a very strong side. You can understand why they’re at the top end of the table and they have an experienced manager and experienced group of players.

“It will be a very good test for us.

“We are in a positive frame of mind. We feel like we are in good form, particularly at home.

“But this league is brutal. If you get ahead of yourself, you can come unstuck very quickly.

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“It’s unforgiving so you have to focus on your performance and focus on doing the basics well.

“The teams who are at the top are really efficient in doing the basics to win games of football and they do it relentlessly.

“Southport are one of those and that’s why we have to try to emulate that both home and away.

“We have had some good performances which we want to maintain.”

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Glover, meanwhile, has been pleased with the way his team have gone about their business at Latimer Park.

And he insists the pitch, which is always a talking point amongst opposing teams and managers, has held up and allowed his side to get the ball down.

“We have played some good stuff at times and the pitch has been quite good,” he added.

“I know stuff gets said about it by others but the pitch has held up and we’ve been able to get the ball down and play.

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“The home form is very good and we have managed to pick up a lot of points.

“We want to try to make it difficult to come to our ground and it takes a lot of work from the lads on the training ground to make that happen.

“We haven’t got it right away from home, we know that. But it seems to be okay at home.”

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