Tough first task as Culverhouse prepares for first game in charge of Kettering Town

The new Poppies manager will be in the home dugout at Latimer Park tonight (Tuesday)

By Jon Dunham
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 7:30 am
Action from Kettering Town's 2-1 defeat at Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday. Picture by Peter Short
Action from Kettering Town's 2-1 defeat at Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday. Picture by Peter Short

Ian Culverhouse admits he knows as well as anyone how tough it can be for opposing teams and managers at Latimer Park.

But Culverhouse will find himself in the home dugout this evening as he takes charge of his first game since being appointed as the new manager of Kettering Town.

A whirlwind weekend for the Poppies, which started with the shock resignation of Paul Cox, ended with former King’s Lynn Town boss Culverhouse taking over the hotseat while he will be joined by former Kettering goalkeeper Paul Bastock as his assistant-manager.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

It’s a tough first task tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm kick-off) as the Poppies entertain in-form Kidderminster Harriers who sit in fourth place in the Vanarama National League North and have also enjoyed a stunning run in the Emirates FA Cup with a fourth-round home clash against Premier League club West Ham United to look forward to on February 5.

Culverhouse and his King’s Lynn team were involved in numerous good battles with Kettering, particularly when both were pushing for honours in the Southern League Premier Central.

And, despite the rivalry between the two clubs, the positive reaction from Poppies supporters since Culverhouse’s appointment was confirmed would suggest there is plenty of respect for him within the fanbase.

“It’s pleasing to hear and we look forward to it, we really do,” Culverhouse said when told of the positive noises coming from the Kettering fans.

“When I was with my other club, it (Kettering) was always a notoriously hard place to come to under Marcus Law and prior to that.

“It’s a hard place and we’d like to keep that going and make teams uncomfortable.

“The crowd play a big part in that and it’s massive that they really get behind the boys and make it a hostile place to come and play.”

The Poppies will be looking to bounce back after technical director Alan Doyle and academy director Luke Graham took charge of the team at the 11th hour for Saturday’s dramatic 2-1 defeat at Bradford (Park Avenue).

But Culverhouse knows his first game at the helm against Kidderminster is a tough one.

“It’s going to be a really hard game,” he added.

“But this is what you’re in football for. The challenge is there.

“Can we get amongst them and upset them and really do the town proud? That’s what we will aim to do.”