KETTERING Town showed all the hallmarks of a championship winning side as they beat Hyde United 3-0.
After a dour first half that saw the home perhaps side edge it, the Poppies sparked into life after the break.
Matt Tipton had given them an early warning when his free-kick hit the crossbar after only six minutes.
But, once boss Mark Cooper had his chat with them at the break, there was only going to be one winner.
Brett Solkhon broke the deadlock on 56 minutes when, after a hint of handball, he thumped the ball home.
From then on it was a procession. Craig Westcarr's corner on 66 minutes found David Bridges completed unmarked and he headed into the roof of the net.
And then Westcarr himself wrapped up the points when, having beaten his man, he picked his spot and finished from the edge of the area.
The win leaves Kettering four points clear at the top of Blue Square Conference North with two games in hand on their nearest, and only realistic challengers, AFC Telford.
The game also saw new-signing Anthony Robinson make an impressive debut in attack for the Poppies.
After the game David Bridges said he was "delighted" by another crucial win.
The midfielder grabbed his 11th goal of the campaign as he headed home the Poppies' second in their impressive win at Hyde United.
"It's another game down, another tick in the box and I thought it was a good performance from us," he said.
"We did okay in the first half but we upped it after half-time and, to be honest, they couldn't live with it."
Bridges also revealed the secret behind his goal as he arrived unmarked at the far post to head home Craig Westcarr's corner.
He said: "I was pleased with the goal.
"John Dempster has scored six goals at the back post and as we lined up for the corner he said 'you be me' and I was delighted to get there and get a goal."
The Poppies are moving ever closer to the Conference North title and were once again backed by a big following yesterday.
And Bridges admitted he can understand why the fans are beginning to get excited by the prospect of promotion.
But he insists no-one within the Kettering camp will be enjoying anything until the job is completed.
He added: "Until it's done we won't enjoy it.
"The fans can definitely smell it because after we got the second goal they were having a carnival.
"They have been great all season but they were even louder this time. I just hope we can give them something even more special to cheer about.
"We were in the situation earlier in the season where we had games in hand and we won those to put ourselves top of the table.
"Telford pegged us back on Saturday but we still look at it and know that if we win the games in hand then it's a 10-point lead.
"All we can do is keep winning our games and if we do that then we are going to be okay."
For a full report and all the reaction make sure you get your copy of Sport on Monday in today's Evening Telegraph.
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