Paul Malone picked the perfect moment to grab his first goal for Kettering Town as he scored a late winner to secure a 2-1 success at Kings Langley and ease the pressure on boss Marcus Law.
The Poppies were forced into one change to the team that started the FA Trophy defeat at Witton Albion last weekend with Lewis Hornby replacing the injured James Brighton while Rene Howe returned to the substitutes’ bench after a groin injury.
After a goalless first half, Kettering fell behind to a Jorell Johnson effort.
But the Poppies didn’t take long to level things up when Liam Canavan’s swerving shot found the net.
And they won it late on when James Haran headed back across goal and Malone bundled it home.
The victory made it two away wins in a row for Law’s men in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division and they are back on the road at the weekend when they head to fourth-placed Hitchin Town.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ Buildbase FA Trophy hopes were ended as they went down 2-0 to Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South rivals Lincoln United in their second qualifying round replay.
Diamonds were down to the bare bones with no fewer than six first-team players missing the game due to suspension, injury and illness, although Sam Brown did start having been doubtful in the build-up.
And they were hit by an early double blast as Lincoln scored twice in the first 17 minutes.
Kallum Smith blasted home after seven minutes when Diamonds switched off from a throw-in and the lead was doubled by the same player with a fine strike from outside the box.
That second goal came shortly after Taylor Orosz had been denied by Jack Turner in the home goal.
Diamonds were better after the break and did create chances but Lincoln went close again through Gary King.
But it was the hosts who saw things out to book a third qualifying round trip to Kidderminster Harriers.
Diamonds return to league action at the weekend when they head to Loughborough Dynamo.
Don’t miss all the latest local football news in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph