Kettering Town are the first visitors of the New Year to St James Park with Saturday's National League North fixture between the near-neighbours.
The away leg of a festive double header fell foul of the wet weather with the Latimer Park pitch not playable on Boxing Day so the two sides will meet on Saturday for only the second time in a competitive fixture. The first occasion came last season on New Year’s Day at SJP as the sides drew 1-1. Jimmy Armson levelled for Saints, The Poppies had a player red carded and both sides saw penalties saved in the final minutes. Again the away tie was postponed due to a water-logged pitch and was never played as the season was curtailed.
Kevin Wilkin’s side comes into this crucial game having beaten runaway league leaders on Monday to move up to 8th place with four successive wins. Meanwhile Kettering drew at Alfreton in a six goal thriller, three times coming from behind in a game of no fewer than nine yellow cards, five to Paul Cox’s side.
Kettering sit 19th in the National League North table with three wins from twelve games. They have signed striker Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls, released from Gloucester City, and he is available to play in Saturday’s game. The 22 year old scored one league goal and one FA Cup goal in his time at New Meadow Park.
With Northamptonshire having moved into Covid Tier 4 Saturday’s game is Behind Closed Doors with no entry for spectators. The game is being live-streamed with match passes available from the website priced at just £4.99. You can also purchase an e-programme for this game.