Marcus Law paid a glowing tribute to his Kettering Town players after another last-gasp victory saw them take a huge step towards the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division title.
The Poppies looked to be heading for a frustrating draw with Rushall Olympic at Latimer Park after Aaron O’Connor’s early goal had been cancelled out by Daniel Waldron’s header in the first half.
But club legend Brett Solkhon came off the bench to score from close-range as the game moved into stoppage-time to secure a 2-1 victory.
And it proved crucial as second-placed Stourbridge conceded a late goal to lose 1-0 at Tamworth, which resulted in the Poppies moving eight points clear at the summit with two games in hand.
Law’s team now need 20 points from their final 11 matches to clinch the sole automatic promotion place.
And the Poppies boss is desperate to see his players go on and do just that.
“There have been a few last-minute goals and they are big points we have picked up from them,” Law said.
“Full credit to the lads. The belief and the want is there. The quality is there and it was great to see a decent crowd (882 watched the game) in.
“They will have gone home singing and happy, even if the football wasn’t the best at times.
“We have just got some very good pros in there and I am so privileged to have them with us.
“The way they behave and the way they have conducted themselves has been fantastic and I just want them to go and achieve what they have been working for all year.
“I have to give credit to Rushall, they made it very difficult for us on a difficult surface.
“It was a very physical game which is one of our vulnerabilities but we gave it a good go.
“We needed to change it up and we did that in the last 10 minutes, bringing Marcus Kelly a bit higher up and putting Lathaniel Rowe-Turner in there and then we brought the ‘angel’ (Solkhon) on and he did what he does.
“He is certainly blessed with this club and with that moment it probably makes you believe that little bit more.
“It’s becoming more in our hands game-by-game and we have to keep doing what we are doing. We persevered and people came to the fore when we needed them.”
Law reserved extra praise for Solkhon, who has been used as a substitute more often than not this season.
“He has got that willingness and that want and he is becoming a fantastic sub for us,” he added.
“We can throw him on for a last-ditch effort on goal or he can secure things at the other end.
“He can get a bit frustrated at times because his game time has been at a minimum but he certainly won’t be turning down these situations if it will help his club get to where it wants to be.”