Birthday boy Brett Solkhon scored twice as Kettering Town made a swift return to winning ways with a 4-3 success at St Ives Town in a topsy-turvy encounter.
Poppies legend Solkhon grabbed what proved to be the winner on his 35th birthday while Ben Milnes and Michael Richens were also on target.
The win, which came just three days after Marcus Law’s team had suffered their first loss of the season at Weymouth, was enough to move the Poppies up to second in the early standings in the Evo-Stik South League Premier with Slough Town on top on goal difference.
Kettering got off to the worst possible start when Danny Kelly found the top corner for the hosts after just 37 seconds.
But the visitors hit back almost immediately with Ben Milnes firing home and then they went in front after nine minutes with Solkhon scoring after Rene Howe had headed down a corner.
Kettering extended their lead after the break when Michael Richens headed home his first league goal for the club from another corner but, almost immediately, Kelly grabbed his second of the night to make it 3-2.
Solkhon restored the two-goal advantage with a header but, again the Poppies had their lead cut with Kelly completing his hat-trick with a free header from a left-wing cross.
But that, thankfully from Kettering’s point of view, was the end of the scoring as Marcus Law’s team saw the game out to pick up their sixth win from seven league matches.
They are back on home soil on Saturday when they take on Evo-Stik League South side Kidsgrove Athletic in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.