Dean Thomas felt the Kettering Town players went a long way towards redeeming themselves as they picked up their first win of the season.
Just 48 hours after being thrashed 5-1 by Slough Town at Latimer Park, the Poppies ended St Ives Town’s unbeaten start to the Calor League Premier Division campaign with a 1-0 success on Bank Holiday Monday.
Louis Hamilton’s first-half goal proved decisive, although Rob Foster missed a late penalty while the hosts ended the game with nine men.
Thomas was forced to shuffle his pack with Brad Piercewright, Dave Deeney and Ash Deeney all missing out through injury. And he went further than that with three additional changes to the team that was hammered on Saturday.
It resulted in a first win of the campaign after a poor start and Thomas is now hoping his players can build on it.
“It was important that we showed some guts and determination after a couple of very poor performances,” the Poppies boss said.
“We needed to bounce back in the right way and we certainly did that, it was a good all-round display.
“I had done plenty of talking between Saturday and Monday, the players were probably sick of listening to me. The game against Slough was a very unpleasant experience and they responded.
“I think the players have redeemed themselves and the win should have been a lot more comfortable than it was.
“We dominated the vast majority of the game, created plenty of chances and just didn’t finish them off. It always leaves you a bit worried because it only takes one chance but we held on comfortably.
“We had to make changes because of injuries but we made others as well and it was good to see them pay off.
“I thought Will Muzvimbiri put a real shift in for us at right-back and the whole back four and the goalkeeper had very good days.
“It is nice to get off the mark and now we have to make sure we build on it.”
The Poppies are back in action on Saturday when they take on Gresley in the preliminary round of the FA Cup at Latimer Park.