Preview | Kettering Town (A) | National League North | 21/22

By Stephen Burton

Next up for Blyth Spartans is the long trip to Latimer Park as they face Kettering Town in National League North on Saturday afternoon.

Despite a spirited performance last weekend, Michael Nelson’s side slipped to their seventh straight defeat as two fantastic goals either side of half-time handed Leamington the victory.

Blyth currently sit second-bottom in the league table with nine points and will be taking on a Kettering side three points and six places better off, albeit with two games in hand.

THE OPPOSITION

Paul Cox’s Kettering side have had a solid start to a Covid-disrupted season, with three wins and three draws in their nine league matches so far.

Their last league outing at home to Darlington on Saturday was their first match in almost three weeks, and it showed as the visitors ran out 3-1 winners.

The Poppies were again in action on Tuesday night in the Northants Senior Cup where they defeated AFC Rushden and Diamonds on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING

Nelson spoke with BSAFCTV after the Leamington defeat: “We’ve just got to keep going, we’ve got to keep working hard.

“The only way we’ll get out of it is by working hard. Together as a group we need to keep believing in what we’re working on is going to come good.”

Captain Michael Buddle added: “On a run like this you’re desperate to get a result. We’re determined and we’ll regroup and try and get the points next weekend.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Kettering boss Cox spoke with his club’s YouTube channel after their defeat to Darlington.

He said: “Not good enough, there were no excuses for that performance.

“One or two looked a bit off the pace and we’ve stopped doing what we’re good at. You’ve got to earn the right to play and we didn’t do that today.

“We need to get back to the standards we set earlier in the season. If you stop working hard, it’s a slippery slope.”

LAST TIME WE MET

The sides have only met twice in recent seasons, with Blyth’s last trip to Latimer Park coming in December 2020 when the hosts won 2-1 as Kurt Russell grabbed a late consolation for Spartans.

The season before in November 2019, the sides played out a remarkable 4-4 draw.

Spartans led 3-0 at the break through a Callum Roberts double and a Ryan Hutchinson strike. Then, despite Roberts completing his hattrick, the hosts mounted a heroic second-half comeback and snatched a dramatic point in injury time.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Unfortunately, there will be no Blyth Live available for our trip to Latimer Park.

Instead, you can follow the game via our social media platforms.

Posted by Jordan Cronin