Stohrer and the Poppies left ‘gutted’ as they just miss out

Gary Stohrer admitted the Kettering Town players were left “gutted” after they missed out on a Vanarama National League North play-off place on the final day of the season.

Sunday, 8th May 2022, 10:25 am
Gary Stohrer applauds the travelling Kettering Town fans after the 1-1 draw at Curzon Ashton, which wasn't enough to seal a play-off place. Picture by Peter Short

The Poppies headed to Curzon Ashton in possession of the final play-off spot but ended the day in eighth place as they were overtaken by former boss Paul Cox’s Boston United.

Decarrey Sheriff scored a late, late equaliser for Kettering as they hit back from going a goal down to Jordan Richards’ strike seven minutes into the second half to draw 1-1.

But Boston claimed a 2-0 victory at Farsley Celtic to leapfrog the Poppies and set up a play-off eliminator at Kidderminster Harriers on Thursday night.

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Fans’ favourite Stohrer fronted up to the media after the game and, despite the disappointment, he feels the Poppies proved a point over the whole campaign by securing an impressive top 10 finish.

“The lads were gutted in there,” the midfielder said.

“We pushed, we had a right go up until the last minute.

“With the season we have had, you can look back and say ‘what a season!’

“We were written off at the start of the year, no-one thought we would be where we are, let alone coming into the last game of the season and playing with a chance of getting in the play-offs.

“The lads have given it their all. We have had a couple of chances, could have had a penalty for handball and then we have scored just a bit too late.

“If we had scored maybe five or 10 minutes earlier then we could have had another right good go.

“We didn’t really know on the pitch what was happening elsewhere.

“We knew we needed to win and if it had been the other way round and Boston had been losing or drawing then it might have been fed more onto the pitch.

“When we went to Kidderminster and Fylde we tried to get it down and play a bit and we were successful with it.

“The home pitch doesn’t allow us to do that but, to be fair to the lads in the side, we have the quality to get it down and play.

“It is difficult when you change the way you play but that wasn’t the reason for the result.

“We started quite flat in the first half, we probably weren’t good enough.

“In the second half we have had a right go, we gave a poor goal away and then we huffed and puffed and scored just a bit too late at the end.”

The Poppies were roared on by a large contingent of supporters from Northamptonshire and then consoled by them after the game.

And Stohrer added: “The fans were excellent, they came out in their droves.

“It really drives us on. They were singing all game and even at the end, you could see how proud they were of the lads.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get over the line and we are all gutted.”