Brackley Town boss Jon Brady is drawing immense satisfaction from bringing the best out of his Cobblers youth-team products.
The Saints boss paired former Town youngster Will Green with loanee David Moyo in attack against Leamington last Saturday.
And both players were on target as Brackley boosted their Vanarama North survival chances with a 2-1 win at St James’ Park.
Brady, who also has Cobblers keeper Dean Snedker on loan, was forced to reshape his squad this summer and has built it on local talent.
He admits it is a different challenge to the days of competing for a play-off place, but is taking plenty of pleasure from developing players.
“It is rewarding to see those young kids coming through,” said Brady.
“It’s great to see all the hard work you put in paying off and players playing to their potential.
“It’s totally different to being up near the top of the league and it’s pleasing being able to develop a player.
“It’s about giving them the belief in themselves and hopefully they go on and flourish.
“Our squad is a young one and we can only get better, we’ve just got to keep looking upwards.”
Green has now netted four goals in the past five games and Brady is delighted with the progression of the 22-year-old.
“Will’s always had good feet, good pace and an eye for goal,” said the Saints boss.
“He’s got a really strong strike on him and he’s got all the tools to be a good player.
“With him, it’s all about the belief and it’s taken a while but now he’s in the best form of his career.
“He’s putting himself in the frame to be our lead striker.”
And on Moyo, who impressed on debut last weekend, Brady said: “He did well. You can see he needs games because he’s not played for a while.
“But he put in a good performance and it was good to see him cap it off with a goal.
“We offered him plenty of chances and the header he scored was quality. It’s something to really build on.”
Brackley will aim to build on their win over the Brakes when they host AFC Fylde this Saturday.
And Brady believes the fixture will be a good barometer of his side’s progress, as they lost 4-0 at Fylde on the opening day of the season.
“It brings back bad memories, but the team has changed a lot since then,” he said.
“It will be good to see how far we have come and we’ll not only try to match them, we want to win.
“We’ve done really well at home of late and hopefully we can carry that good form on this weekend.”
Daventry Town boss Allan Smart is on the lookout for a new striker after conceding that Tommy Berwick will leave the club.
Berwick is set to move to Souther League Division One Central rivals Rugby Town, leaving Daventry, who lost 1-0 at St Ives Town last weekend, in need of a new frontman.
And ahead of Saturday’s home clash with AFC Hayes, Smart said: “We will dust ourselves down and go again, next Saturday is where our focus is now.
“Tommy Berwick will probably move on to Rugby Town. He has worked well and been committed to the cause since I joined the club so I would like to wish him well and every success should he decide to go.
“We are now going to be actively looking for a striker and are currently speaking to a couple of potential targets.”
Kettering Town have the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central to eight points on Saturday.
The leaders travel to Northwood for a clash, which is their game in hand on second-placed Bedworth United who are without a match. A victory will give the Poppies clear daylight over the chasing pack.
And while joint-boss Thomas Baillie has urged his team to take the opportunity with both hands, he knows they can take nothing for granted against a side who were hammered 5-0 at Latimer Park early in the campaign.
“It is an opportunity we simply have to take with both hands,” Baillie said.
“I said from the very start that we wanted to do what we could to try to lead from the front because we know from last season just how hard it is to chase teams.
“So we have a big opportunity but you underestimate and under-prepare for any team at this level at your peril because they will trip you up.
“That’s something that we have found out to our cost at times this season.
“Our record against the teams in the top half of the table is superb but against the teams in the lower half our record hasn’t been good enough.
“We have dropped points when we shouldn’t have done so we have to treat every game the same.
“We have set our own standards and if we stick to them then we will be fine.”
This weekend’s clash is followed by a trip to Daventry Town a week on Saturday before a New Year’s Day match with Rugby Town is quickly followed by a home game against Beaconsfield SYCOB.
Tommy Wright is hoping the biggest crowd of the season so far at Steel Park will be on hand to roar his Corby Town team on at the weekend.
The Steelmen take on Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division leaders Poole Town, knowing only a victory will keep them in with a realistic chance of staying in the hunt for the title. And the manager is certain a big crowd could make a difference.
The highest attendance at Steel Park so far this season was 518, who watched St Neots Town win 3-1 at the end of August.
And Wright said: “Big games like this don’t come along very often and we haven’t had many home games just recently.
“It is a proper top-of-the-table clash and we have to be hopeful that we will get our biggest crowd of the season.
“The fans can and have made a difference to us this season. Their support always gives the lads a big boost and we will need that this weekend.”