Marcus Law praised the “work ethic and character” of his Kettering Town players as they made an impressive start to the new Evo-Stik South League Premier campaign.
Goals from Brett Solkhon and summer signing Ben Milnes gave the Poppies a fine 2-1 victory at Slough Town, who were beaten play-off semi-finalists last season.
And for Law, it ensured a long journey to get to Berkshire was well worth it.
The Poppies boss came away from a family break on the Isle of Wight to lead his team in the curtain-raiser to the new campaign and he felt they showed the sort of qualities that were missing at times during the disappointing times last season.
“I travelled by taxi, ferry, train, hired vehicle and coach to get there and it was well worth it,” the Poppies boss said.
“It wasn’t easy by a long shot and we knew it wasn’t going to be. We really grafted for it.
“We had the better chances, they probably had more of the ball but it was our work ethic and the character in our side that came through for us. And that is something we probably didn’t have enough of last year.
“Slough aren’t going to be dropping many points on their own ground, they got in the play-offs on the back of their home form last season. So it’s a good start for us and it is a good start that we now have to follow up.
“It was a good day for us but we are fully aware that it is just the start and we have got to come home and follow it up on Tuesday.
“But if the lads work as hard as they did on this occasion then we will be in with a chance.”
The Poppies look set for a good test in their first home game of the season on Tuesday night.
They take on Redditch United who thrashed Dunstable Town 5-0 on the opening day with former Kettering frontman Spencer Weir-Daley being among the scorers.