Dubi Ogbonna created a piece of history as Kettering Town extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches with a 5-1 hammering of Leighton Town in the Calor League Division One Central at Latimer Park.
The striker became the first player in the club’s history to score a hat-trick of penalties in one game while further goals from Josh Moreman and Andy Gooding sealed a terrific win for Dean Thomas’ side.
The big story in the build-up to the game was the arrival of latest signing Elliot Sandy.
The former Brackley Town player’s registration was confirmed ahead of kick-off but boss Thomas chose to only name him on the bench.
Dan Crowie, James Clifton and Josh Moreman, meanwhile, were handed their home debuts.
Moreman dragged a shot wide early on but it was Denham Hinds who was the busier of the two goalkeepers early on as he made solid stops from Gareth Chendik and Dom Marsala.
Jonathon Thorpe shot just over for the Poppies before they made the breakthrough on 21 minutes.
Ogbonna was hauled down by Sam Chapman in the penalty area and referee Scott Postin wasted little time in pointing to the spot.
Having missed five penalties already this season, Kettering needed someone to step up and it was Ogbonna who took responsibility and sent Matt Griggs the wrong way from 12 yards.
It remained fairly even after that with Leighton asking plenty of questions of the Poppies defence.
But it was the hosts who went closest to scoring again as Moreman deflected Andy Gooding’s shot wide of the target before the striker volleyed over from Thorpe’s cross.
It was a quiet start to the second half with Leighton still causing the hosts a few problems but the nerves were settled when Kettering were awarded their second penalty.
This time Andy Gooding was fouled by Ben Gallant in the area and Ogbonna stepped up to thump the spot-kick down the middle of the goal.
Sandy was introduced for his debut but, almost immediately, Gallant gave Leighton hope when he thumped home a header from a corner.
For a while, that unsettled the 600-plus crowd. But the nerves were settled thanks to yet another penalty with 15 minutes to go.
Ogbonna won it when he was adjudged to have been upended by Kristien Stephens, it was given by the referee’s assistant and looked dubious to say the least.
But Ogbonna wasn’t complaining and he fired into the top corner from 12 yards to write his name into the club’s record books.
And just four minutes later it was game over as Moreman scored the goal of the game as he raced away on the left wing before powering into the area and smashing the ball into the far corner.
There was still time for Moreman to set up Andy Gooding for his first goal for the club as he converted from close-range to put the seal on what turned out to be a comfortable afternoon.
The scoreline looks convincing but, for the majority of the afternoon, it was a tricky task for the Poppies on a muddy Latimer Park pitch.
But such is the confidence of the team at the moment, they finished the day in style to ensure the unbeaten run continues.
Poppies: Hinds; Clifton, Crowie, Hull, Kinniburgh; Thorpe (sub Hamilton, 70 mins), Gooding, Jepson, Fuller (sub Sandy, 70 mins); Ogbonna, Moreman. Subs not used: Newman, Logan, Bukasa.
Leighton: Griggs; Fryer, Chapman, W Plowright, Bewley; Gallant, R Plowright (sub Stephens, 63 mins), Bush, Marsala; Chendik, Silvestri (sub Maisiri, 63 mins). Subs not used: Downes, Doughty.
Referee: Scott Postin.
Goals: Ogbonna pen (21 mins, 1-0), Ogbonna pen (67 mins, 2-0), Gallant (71 mins, 2-1), Ogbonna pen (77 mins, 3-1), Moreman (81 mins, 4-1), Gooding (90 mins, 5-1).
Bookings: Thorpe (diving), Fryer (unsporting), R Plowright, W Plowright, Clifton (all fouls).