Kettering Town are a maximum of 14 points away from wrapping up the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central title - and Marcus Law wants his team to focus on getting them “sooner rather than later”.
The Poppies took another giant step towards the sole automatic promotion place with a 3-0 win over 10-man Banbury United at Latimer Park as they gained revenged for the 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture in December.
Having seen one of their games in hand on Stourbridge pass them by last Tuesday when they were beaten 3-2 at home by Coalville Town, Law’s men made no mistake on this occasion.
They are now a huge 11 points clear of their nearest rivals with eight games to go.
But the Poppies boss is staying cautious for the time being.
“I wasn’t overly worried after Tuesday,” Law said.
“We didn’t play particularly well and it went against us. But every time this season, we have always bounced back and we did it again.
“I have been in football a long time so I am not going to make claims until it’s all done and dusted. We are now heading into the middle of March, we have eight games to go and we are 11 points clear.
“The screw has got a little bit tighter but we have still got a target of 14 points to hit and we want to get them sooner rather than later.”
The game at a windswept Latimer Park was in the balance until former Kettering man Edmund Hotter was sent-off for a lunge on Craig Stanley after 19 minutes.
And the Poppies took full advantage with Rhys Hoenes and man-of-the-match Gary Stohrer putting them 2-0 up before Brett Solkhon added a third before half-time, shortly after the visitors had an effort ruled out for offside.
Kettering saw the game out with few concerns in the second period and Law added: “Edmund was with us in the early part of the season and for that to happen and then for us to capitalise and score two goals so quickly certainly swung the game in our favour.
“And then their goal being ruled out for offside and us going straight up the other end for 3-0 finished the game off for us.
“We were then in a position where we knew we could be 11 points clear and it was a case of seeing the game out. We didn’t have to take any risks.
“We changed things to suit the elements and I thought Gary Stohrer was excellent and Brett came in and performed well and got his goal.”
The Poppies will be back in action next weekend when they head to play-off chasing Biggleswade Town.