Marcus Law was pleased to see his Kettering Town players rise to the challenge he made to them as they maintained their title challenge with a 2-1 win over Tamworth at Latimer Park.
After the euphoria of the last-gasp success over local rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds on New Year’s Day, Law was keen to see his team follow it up with another success to keep the pressure on Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central leaders Stourbridge.
A fine first-half strike from Lindon Meikle and Dan Holman’s second-half penalty secured the victory and ensured the Poppies remain two points behind Stourbridge with three games in hand.
Kettering are now 15 points clear of the chasing pack and, at this stage, look to be in a two-horse race with the Glassboys for the sole automatic promotion place.
And Law said: “I put the challenge to the players that we needed to follow it (the win over Diamonds) up.
“There have been times over the last couple of years where we have put in a good result and not followed it up.
“We got the fans and a few more on board with what happened on New Year’s Day and we have got the result we wanted.
“It was quite a comfortable game and at 2-0 you probably could have said that was the game done.
“But we have allowed them a bit of excitement by letting them back into it.
“Having said that, I thought we played pretty well throughout and we made sure we got through it to get the result we were after.
“It’s a big 15-point gap between us and the chasing pack now so you are asking one of those sides to go on a big run and the two at the top to falter now.
“All we can do is try to pick up more good results during this crucial period and try to keep the pressure on Stourbridge while knowing that we have those games in hand.
“It will be up to us to try to take advantage of them as and when they come around.”
The Poppies’ preparations weren’t helped when Aaron O’Connor was taken ill during the warm-up having been named in the starting line-up.
Adam Cunnington took his place and Law is hoping O’Connor will be able to make a quick recovery to ensure he has all of his attacking options available.
“Aaron has been struggling with a bit of a chest infection,” Law added.
“We gave it as long as we could but he wasn’t well enough to play but we are fortunate to have that bit of strength in depth and it meant Adam could come back in.
“You’ve got those two and then Dan Holman, who is playing at a different level at the moment.
“He is doing what Aaron did for us last season and if Aaron can get back to that after a season that has been hit by injury and now illness then we are going to have some great options in that attacking area.”