Kettering Town claimed a 2-1 success over Tamworth at Latimer Park as they kept up their challenge at the top end of the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central.
The Poppies’ victory saw them remain two points behind leaders Stourbridge, who were 3-0 winners at Bedworth United, with three games in hand.
Marcus Law originally made one change to his starting line-up following the derby win over AFC Rushden & Diamonds on New Year’s Day with Aaron O’Connor coming in to replace Adam Cunnington.
However, O’Connor fell ill after arriving at the ground and that meant Cunnington was restored to the starting 11.
The Poppies made a strong start and Dan Holman fired an early shot over the bar before going even closer soon after when a 25-yard strike came back off the base of the post.
But the breakthrough did come on the half-hour mark, shortly after Michael Richens had seen a good strike tipped over the bar by Luke Simpson.
However, it was Lindon Meikle who opened the scoring as he tried his luck from distance and it found the top left corner.
Tyrell Waite forced Paul White into a good save early in the second half but the Poppies grabbed the crucial second goal on 54 minutes.
Rhys Hoenes was tripped by Simpson in the box and Holman stepped up to roll home the spot-kick.
However, Tamworth were given a lifeline just four minutes later when Craig Stanley was penalised for a foul on Michael Taylor in the area.
White made a fine save from Gregg Smith’s penalty but Fortune Maphosa reacted quickest to score from the rebound.
Kettering went on to create the better chances after that with Holman seeing a header cleared off the line and, after Charlie Jemson had been sent-off for a foul on Hoenes, the flying Poppies winger saw an effort come back off the post.
But another goal wasn’t needed as Law’s team saw things out to maintain their challenge.