Kettering Town recorded a 2-0 win over FC United of Manchester in their opening pre-season friendly at the A-Line Arena.
Guy Branston headed home his first goal for the Poppies from David Galbraith's sixth-minute cross.
But it took until two minutes from full-time for Mark Cooper's side to double their advantage through substitute Chris Hanna.
Kettering wasted a series of clear-cut chances - particularly through Chris Beardsley and new signing Gareth Seddon.
Beardsley's header rebounded off the bar while FC United striker Nick Robinson saw an effort disallowed for a foul at the start of the second half.
The Poppies finally got a second goal as Brett Solkhon released Jean-Paul Marna who unselfishly squared for Hanna, on trial after being released by Walsall, to tap into an empty net.
Meanwhile Fazel Koriya's last-minute strike earned Rothwell Town a 2-1 win at Cogenhoe United in their second pre-season game.
Jed Ainge gave the UCL Premier Division side the lead in the first half but David Glass equalised after half-time for the Bones.
Corby Town suffered their first defeat of pre-season after going down 2-0 at UniBond League outfit Eastwood Town.
Wellingborough Town also won 2-0 against Leyton at the Dog & Duck.
Jason Burnham's opening home game in charge got off to a perfect start with a first-minute goal. The Doughboys doubled their advantage before the break.
Other results: Burton Park Wanderers 6 Harrowby 1, Deal 0 Raunds 3, Earls Barton 2 Rushden & Higham 6, Harborough 2 Rothwell Corinthians 2, Oundle 1 Blackstones 14, S&L 2 Cottesmore 1, Whitworths 1 Daventry Town 2.
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