John Ramshaw was delighted with the way Kettering Town “ground out” another win as they booked a place in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The Poppies looked like they were heading for a frustrating day at Latimer Park as a resilient Kidsgrove Athletic side kept the game goalless for 80 minutes.
But Lindon Meikle’s superb strike finally broke the deadlock before Aaron O’Connor wrapped up a 2-0 success with a close-range header.
That made it eight wins from nine matches in all competitions for Kettering so far this season.
And Ramshaw felt the tie was another example of how far the Poppies have come since last season.
“They (Kidsgrove) were quite resilient, there’s no two ways about it,” the first-team coach said.
“The pleasing thing for us as a management team is that in a similar game this time last season we would probably have lost.
“We ground it out. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t a day for free-flowing football but we have got the result.
“On cup days, you just want to be in the hat for when the draw is made on Monday afternoon. “We are in it, we aren’t waiting for a replay. We can look forward to seeing who we have got next.
“We are delighted with the start but the most pleasing thing is that we are grinding some results out when we aren’t at our best.
“Last season we played superbly at times and lost so we are very happy at the moment.”
Ramshaw reserved words of praise for Meikle, whose thunderous strike off the underside of the crossbar finally broke Kidsgrove’s resistance.
“That’s why we signed Lindon, we signed him from a National League club so he has dropped down two divisions and we knew what we were getting,” Ramshaw added.
“I have worked with him before at Eastwood Town and Mansfield Town so I know what he is all about and the strike for the first goal was absolutely superb.
“It’s those little moments of class like that, which warrant the move we made to get him.”
The Poppies now await Monday’s draw while preparing to begin the defence of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup when they host Desborough Town on Tuesday night.