Kempston Rovers enjoyed a competitive workout at home to Kettering Town on Saturday, the Southern League Premier side running out 2-0 winners.
The Poppies played a smart, technical game in the first half, although Rovers’ defence did well to hold them off while also creating half-chances of their own.
The first goal came after 20 minutes and was a well worked move finished off by Rene Howe, before Rovers keeper Martin Conway saved a penalty.
After numerous changes to both sides at half-time, Rovers changed their system of play.
Shane Bush made an immediate impact as Kempston pressed for an equaliser but could not gain possession, as Kettering’s Liam Canavan looked a class above the rest.
The visitors went 2-0 up with a sloppy goal from Spencer Weir-Daley on 77 minutes.
Joint manager Jimmy Stoyles said: “On reflection it was a really good competitive game and a great workout for both teams.”
On Tuesday night Kempston went down 1-0 to Southern League Premier side Hitchin Town, the only strike coming via an own goal early in the second half.
Meanwhile, Rovers have signed left back Damon Herbert from UCL outfit Cogenhoe.
Stoyles said: “We are all looking forward to working with Damon who adds something to our already strong defensive unit.”
Right midfielder Dom Masala has re-signed for a third year after scoring 13 goals last season.
The Walnut Boys host a Luton Town XI on Saturday, visit Olney Town on Tuesday and welcome Biggleswade Town next Friday.
Kempston kick off their first match in the Southern League Premier at home to Aylesbury on Saturday, August 6. They visit Arlesey on Tuesday, August 9 and Beaconsfield on August 13 before welcoming Bedford Town on Tuesday, August 16.
Their Boxing Day fixture is at AFC Dunstable.