Scott Machin praised Kettering Town’s “attitude and application” after they eased into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.
The Poppies made the short trip across Northamptonshire to take on ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division side Cogenhoe United in the preliminary round tie.
And they returned home with a 4-1 victory thanks to Andy Hall’s hat-trick and a 30-yard blockbuster from Ash Robinson.
The Southern League Division One Central leaders didn’t always have things their own way but they eventually ran out comfortable winners, much to the delight of joint-boss Machin.
He said: “We knew it would be a difficult afternoon, these guys are never going to lie down and let you play. We had to compete and we did that.
“I was a bit disappointed in the first half because we started well and got ourselves two goals in front and then we took our foot off the pedal and let them get back into the game.
“Fair play to Cogenhoe because they didn’t stop playing right up until the last minute and they deserve great credit for that.
“It’s always difficult when you come away from home against teams who have nothing to lose.
“If they lose then everyone says they should have done and if they win it’s fantastic.
“For us, it was all about the attitude and application of the lads and I think they got that right.”
The victory made it six wins out of seven matches in all competitions for the Poppies this season and sets up a first qualifying round clash at league rivals Aylesbury on September 13.
And Machin admitted to being happy with the way the campaign has started.
“We couldn’t have wished for much more really,” the Poppies joint-manager added.
“We have put ourselves into a good position and now we have to keep it going.”
Dubi Ogbonna watched Saturday’s win from the stands as he continues to recover from an ankle injury while Ross Oulton was unavailable.