Toughest of tests as Poppies take on 'the real package' Fylde

Kettering Town have made an encouraging start to the season but now face the early leaders at Latimer Park

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 7:30 am
Paul Cox was all smiles on Bank Holiday Monday as Kettering Town claimed a fine 2-0 victory at Gloucester City. Pictures by Peter Short

Paul Cox believes Kettering Town are taking on the potential Vanarama National League North champions this weekend.

Fresh from claiming a fine 2-0 win at Gloucester City on Bank Holiday Monday, the Poppies return to Latimer Park to take on AFC Fylde.

The Coasters, who are managed by former Morecambe boss Jim Bentley, will arrive sitting on top of the early table after winning all four of their matches so far.

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Callum Powell heads off to celebrate the second of his two goals in the Poppies' victory at Gloucester

They are one of the hot favourites to claim the sole automatic promotion place this season and there is no lack of respect from Poppies boss Cox who described them as “the real package”.

However, on the back of that superb win at Gloucester in which Callum Powell scored both goals, Cox is keen to see his team try to stamp their authority on the early leaders.

“Anyone who finishes above Fylde will win the league,” Cox said.

“For me, they are the real package. They have got a good squad of players, a really good manager and they will have the resources to strengthen throughout the course of the season.

“It’s the toughest of tests but we want to go and impose ourselves on Fylde.

“As soon as this group of players lose that bit of fear and they have a bit of consistency, I think they will become quite a potent group.

“It was a great win at Gloucester but I now want to see some consistency from game to game.”

Cox, meanwhile, is expecting to have another selection headache this weekend.

Gary Stohrer and Chris Smith both failed fitness tests ahead of the win at Gloucester having featured in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Farsley Celtic.

However, the likes of Luke Ward and debutant Lamine Sheriff came into the side and performed well in a fine first away victory of the campaign.

“Both Gary and Chris came down to Gloucester with us to give it their best try,” Cox added.

“But both are honest boys and they just didn’t make it.

“What was pleasing was that the boys who came in did well and really staked their place.

“There were some good performances so I have got a real headache for the weekend now.”