We Welcome The Poppies On Saturday

by Peter Scherer

It’s all getting tight at the top as we start to look at the run into the end of the season. Four points off second place at present with a better goal difference than Redditch, despite last weeks Royston defeat,  and we pay Redditch a visit too in a week on Saturday fortnight.

Skipper Ryan Wilson successfully came through his comeback game and is poised as he rejoined the squad, while Joe Bateman is still about two weeks away.

We welcome Kettering Town on Saturday, where Jim La Masurier had been in charge at Latimer Park since November, but in the last week he has now become assistant with Tom Cherry, while former assistant Richard Lavery now takes charge.

It’s been a difficult season both on and off the field for the Poppies, since their relegation from the National League North. Currently 18th in the league with two wins in the last 10 games, they have been on the end of some heavy defeats. Despite their problems they were still 2-0 winners when we paid them a visit in November. 

Last weekend they drew 0-0 at home to our fellow promotion hopefuls Leamington.

First choice goalkeeper Dan Jezeph came from Nuneaton four weeks ago. He was at Alvechurch last season, where he had spent two seasons since arriving from Worcester City. He is a former Walsall youth player and has also played for Tamworth.

Until Jezeph’s arrival Bill Johnson had been first choice, having arrived from Braintree pre-season. A former Norwich City Junior, he was loaned to Lowestoft and Braintree, before a permanent move to Stevenage on his release. He has returned to Braintree on numerous occasions, after spells at Gloucester City and Leiston too.

Skipper Lewis White is a centre back that started with Shepshed Dynamo. He then spent almost two years at Corby before joining our visitors for the start of last season. He had a spell with Coventry City as a youngster and also played for Oadby Owls.

Kelvin Langmead was a pre-season arrival, but brought with him vast experience of 400 mainly league two appearances. Initially a Junior at Preston North End, he had loan spells at Tamworth, Carlisle and Kidderminster, before signing for Shrewsbury on his release. Peterborough, Northampton and Ebbsfleet followed, before a loan back at Kidderminster preceded a move to Nuneaton.

After two season he spent a year each at Harrogate and Brackley, before becoming a Poppy after three years with Banbury. He is also assistant manager.

Central midfielder Harry Reilly started his career in the US with Rio Red Storm, being loaned to Mississippi too. He returned to the UK with Stratford Town in August 2020, moving on to Daventry, before a year at Banbury preceded his arrival at Kettering in August 2022.

Dan Jarvis is a central midfielder too, having started off as a Stoke City Junior. He went to Wrexham on his release, before joining Gateshead in July 2022. He was loaned to Hereford too, before arriving at Kettering pre-season

Fellow striker Tyrone Lewthwaite is a former Northern Ireland Under 19 International. He started his career with Watford and Rotherham, before going to Hampton & Richmond. He then moved on to Chesham, Beaconsfield and Aylesbury Utd, before joining Kettering in October 2022 after three months at Bedford.

Left back Ben Toseland was a Northampton Town Junior. He went to Peterborough Sports on his release, before spending 2 ½ years at St.Ives prior to his Kettering move in July 2022.

Rhys Sharpe is a left back and former Northern Ireland Under 21 International, with League Two experience. He was a former Rams Academy player, but after a loan at Shrewsbury Town, he joined Notts County. He then had a short spell at Swindon, before going to Matlock Town, Tamworth and Nuneaton. He came to Kettering in November 2020 after a month at Stratford.

Centre back Lathaniel Rowe-Turner is an ex-League One and Two player who started at Leicester City. He was loaned to Cheltenham, Redditch and Kings Lynn before a permanent move to Torquay. Two years later he moved to Luton and after an initial loan, moved on to Alfreton Town.

He then joined Kidderminster and was loaned to Nuneaton in January 2016. A return spell at Torquay was followed by spells at Chester, Kettering and Tamworth, before spending a year at Stourbridge prior to returning to Nuneaton in July 2022. He came to Kettering last month along with team mate Jezeph.

Former Sunderland Junior midfielder Tom Scott was on loan from the Black Cats last season. He briefly joined Banbury at the start of this season, but soon made his move to Latimer Park.

Gedeon Okito is a left-back who came through the MK Dons U18’s Academy. He has played for Dunstable Town, Stratford Town and AFC Dunstable, before signing from Banbury pre-season.

Midfielder Huw Dawson was another pre-season signing from St.Albans.

Winger Bruno Andrade was a QPR Junior, who was loaned to Aldershot, Wycombe and Stevenage, before joining Woking on his release. Boreham Wood, Lincoln City and Maidenhead are also former clubs, before he joined Chesham last September. He signed for Kettering on Boxing Day.

Jack Degruchy is an attacking midfielder on loan from Doncaster Rovers. He started off at York City, but during his time at Doncaster, he had made one first team appearance and been loaned out to FC United and Marske Utd.

Luca Miller is a young striker that came through the clubs own Academy. He has also played for Desborough Town and Harborough.

Northern Ireland Under 19 International right back Phoenix Scholtz is on loan from MK Dons, similarly Neo Dobson, a young Northampton Town striker and George Forsyth a midfielder from Telford.

Forsyth has been captaining the side and started out at Kidderminster Harriers. After loans at Halesowen and Gloucester City, he joined Worcester City. He has also played for Stourbridge, Hereford and Bromsgrove, before joining Kettering on loan in November 2022. His move became permanent in February last year, before going to Telford at the start of this season, only to return in July on a season long loan.

Midfielder Kobe Chong has just arrived on loan from Kings Lynn. He was previously at and was a  West Bromwich Albion and Kidderminster, before moving to Cagliari in Sicily.

Finally midfielder Michael Reindorf-Junior is a new signing too. A former Norwich City Junior je started out at Leyton Orient.

Kick off at usual at the Don Amott Arena is 3pm, with all the usual bar & catering facilities.

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