Daventry Town boss Darran Foster admits that Tuesday night’s Calor League Division One Central play-off semi-final at Kettering Town (ko 7.45pm) is going to be ‘a massive test of character’ for his team.
In the final fortnight of the regular season, Town went from being top and title favourites to fourth-place finishers, meaning they have to travel to Latimer Park for a semi-final against a team that beat them twice in the regular season.
The Poppies were comprehensive 3-0 winners when the sides met at Communications Park earlier in the year, and were 2-0 winners in the big Northants derby match a little over a week ago on Easter Monday.
That was a match that Foster felt his side didn’t deserve to lose, and he is confident that his players can raise their game for one big final promotion effort.
“The play–off semi–final will be a massive test of character for the boys and we shall need to be at our best to get anything from the game,” said Foster, who saw his side lose three of the final four games of the Division One Central season, including a 1-0 home defeat to Chalfont St Peter on Saturday.
“The lads are still hurting from the Easter Monday clash against Kettering, when we dominated for long periods but got no reward.
“I am a great believer that things happen for a reason and let’s hope, this is one of them.”
Another factor that Foster is hoping will now work in his side’s favour is that Kettering, not Daventry, are the favourites to progress and win promotion.
“Kettering Town will be firm favourites to win this tie, but for the first time in weeks the pressure is off us and is now on the Poppies,” said the Daventry manager.
“We can go and enjoy the occasion and see where it takes us, as after all the play-offs are a lottery. It’s a one-off game and anything can happen.”
Foster also appealed to the Daventry Town fans to travel across the county in numbers to back their team.
“It will be the biggest crowd of the season at Latimer Park,” said Foster.
“Kettering have had some fantastic attendances all season, but if ever there was a time for the town of Daventry to get behind its football club, it is now.
“I would expect a few hundred travelling Purple Army supporters to make their way over to Burton Latimer and give us their support.”
Quotes courtesy of JIM DAVIS