Stohrer delighted to be back for Poppies

Kettering Town's 'Mr Reliable' made his return from injury in the 0-0 draw with Chester at the weekend

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 8:20 am
Gary Stohrer returned from injury to captain Kettering Town in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Chester. Pictures by Peter Short

Gary Stohrer was understandably delighted to be back for Kettering Town at the weekend.

Having been sidelined for the last few weeks, the dependable utility man was an unused substitute in the two Emirates FA Cup third qualifying round clashes with Leamington before making a return to the starting line-up for last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Chester.

The Poppies had to put in a big shift during the second half as they played 10 versus 11 for 35 minutes after Kyle Perry was sent-off soon after half-time.

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Gary Stohrer had to be withdrawn late on due to cramp after putting in a big shift in the Poppies midfield on his return from injury

And anyone who needed any evidence of the effort put in saw it late on when Stohrer went down with cramp and was forced off for the final few minutes.

But Stohrer, who has been deployed in various positions during his time at Kettering but is currently utilised as a holding midfielder, was just glad to be given a chance to return considering how well the Poppies have done in his absence.

Saturday’s draw left them in eighth place in the Vanarama National League North while the focus is now on this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round home clash with Buxton.

“I’m feeling good,” Stohrer, who captained the side on his return, said.

“There was a bit of cramp at the end. It was a tough 88 minutes I had out there.

“It was just good to be back, the fitness is going to come but it’s been four or five weeks without playing games for me so it will take a bit of time to get fully up to speed.

“All the lads are pushing each other for places and, coming back from injury, you are worrying about getting back in and not getting your chance.

“When the chances come, you just have to take them and you are seeing it with the lads coming off the bench like Jordon Crawford, who is making an impact, they are all working hard.

“It’s a brilliant squad to be around and I think we will have a really good go this year.”

As far as Saturday’s game was concerned, Stohrer felt the final outcome was about right with the way things panned out.

“It was a point on the board, we would have loved all three,” he added.

“It was difficult when we went down to 10 men but, at the same time, we had a couple of half chances and on another day we might have nicked it.

“To be fair, they probably could have done as well so a draw was probably fair.

“Everyone knows we have a young side but I think the boys stepped up when we hit a bit of adversity with the red card.

“We reorganised well, we stayed in the game and stayed solid.”

Stohrer’s return was also welcomed by assistant-manager John Ramshaw.

He said: “I had a joke with him when he came off, I said ‘the problem with you Stohrer is that you’re just not fit!’

“He just laughed at me but he is the fittest lad at the club and he’s been out for a few weeks and he came back into a high tempo game and I thought the effort he put in was magnificent.

“He is Kettering Town’s ‘Steady Eddie’, he goes in there and does his job in whatever position we ask him to and he is always outstanding.

“The management love him because of his attitude and his effort and he is so highly respected by his team-mates, it’s unbelievable.”