Dean Thomas was the first to admit that Kettering Town’s 1-0 victory over North Greenford United “wasn’t a classic”.
But there were few complaints from anyone of a Poppies persuasion at Latimer Park as Ash Fuller’s second-half penalty proved to be enough to extend their unbeaten run to 12 matches in all competitions and move them into the Calor League Division One Central play-off positions.
The conditions ensured good football was at a premium for the majority of the afternoon but a moment of brilliance from Jonathon Thorpe drew a foul from a visiting defender on the hour mark and, after the club had missed four penalties this season, Fuller stepped up to convert it and seal the points.
Boss Thomas said: “It wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination.
“But once we took the lead in the second half I always felt pretty comfortable, I think a set-piece was always going to be our best chance to score.
“It was one of those days when plenty of players had an off-day but we have kept a clean sheet and we have got another win in very difficult conditions.
“It is 12 games unbeaten and we have to be pleased with that run of form.
“I asked them to up the tempo at half-time and I told them that someone needed to go and make a brave decision to get us a goal.
“Jonathon Thorpe did that because he showed some good skill to get into the area, their lad has brought him down and it was a clear penalty.
“Thankfully we have put the jinx to bed with Ash putting the penalty away. We have dug in deep to get the result and it was a hard-working performance.”
It proved to be an important day off the field for the Poppies as well as 22-year-old striker Dubi Ogbonna put pen-to-paper on a year-and-a-half contract while it was also confirmed that central defender Dan Crowie, who was with the club last season, has agreed to rejoin following a seven-day approach to St Neots Town.
Henry Eze is due to leave the Poppies for a month over the Christmas period as he returns to Africa to get married and that prompted the move for Crowie.
Thomas, meanwhile, was happy to see Ogbonna agree a deal with the club after a fine start to life at Latimer Park with seven goals in his first three appearances.
The Kettering boss added: “Dubi has signed a year-and-a-half contract, which is great.
“He is a good player and a goalscorer and we are fortunate to have him here.
“As long as we can keep him on the pitch, he will be a big asset to the club over the coming years.”