Dean Thomas felt Kettering Town produced a “perfect performance” as they emphasised their promotion credentials with a superb 3-0 victory at local rivals Daventry Town.
The Poppies climbed into sixth place in the Calor League Division One Central as they set a new club record for an unbeaten run in league matches by racking up their 18th game without defeat.
First-half goals from Jonathon Thorpe and Henry Eze were followed by another for Elliot Sandy after the break as Kettering became the first team to win at Communications Park in the league this season.
And the display, watched by over 300 Poppies fans, left boss Thomas delighted.
“I thought it was a comprehensive win and I thought it was a fantastic, professional performance from start to finish,” he said.
“Once we had taken the lead and certainly after Henry had got the second goal, they didn’t ask any questions of us and never really came back at us which I was surprised about.
“But they have had a bad night and we have had a good one. That happens in football and you don’t achieve what they have done this season without being a good side.
“It was all about us really and it was a perfect performance. We were resilient in defence, organised in midfield and we were a threat up front.
“We probably tried to overplay for the first 15 minutes and we gave the ball away in silly areas.
“But once started turning them and getting balls in behind, we asked them some serious questions and Andy Gooding had a great chance where their goalkeeper has made a good save and then Jonathon Thorpe produced a quality finish.
“At half-time I just told them we couldn’t let it slip and I think we proved we are a good side by going on to win the game well.”
Thomas believes the result represents a “massive step” for his team but he still insists that Daventry remain in the driving seat as far as the title is concerned.
Even with last night’s victory, Kettering are seven points behind their county rivals with both teams having 14 games to play.
And the manager’s biggest concern now is that his team don’t let themselves down when their gruelling schedule continues at Beaconsfield SYCOB tomorrow (Saturday).
He added: “It was a great performance, it won’t define the season but it was a massive step for us
“We needed to win it more than they did given the position we were in.
“But when you are involved in big games you have to stay focused and that’s when you need your big players to stand up and be counted.
“There were some monstrous performances out there and we have got the bit between our teeth now. We are hard to beat and we are scoring goals.
“Daventry will steamroller teams because they are big and powerful. They just came up against a team that are as strong as they are.
“Mathematically we can still win it of course. But Daventry are still in the driving seat and there are some good teams in the league.
“Rugby, Dunstable and Barton Rovers are all in there. They are all having a go.
“We don’t particularly want to go through the play-offs but after the way we started the season, what we are achieving now is fantastic. I am just looking forward to the next game now.
“It was our night and we have proved how far we have come over the past few months.
“But it’s just another game. We will enjoy it and now we have concentrate on another big one at Beaconsfield.
“We can’t let ourselves down after what we did last night so it’s important we go there and carry it on.”