Wes Thomas, who played for Appleton at Portsmouth, scored his first goal for the Tangerines since arriving on loan from Bournemouth to kick-start a comprehensive 4-1 win over struggling Peterborough.
Tom Ince set up Thomas to head home from close range before grabbing two more himself to bring his goal tally for the season so far to 13.
Four consecutive draws had frustrated Appleton, who was understandably delighted with the win.
"I have been delighted with the performances in every game since coming to the club, but it is obviously a relief to go away from a game with three points on the board," he said.
"Of course I would have liked it to have come sooner but within the four walls of the dressing room we knew this result was coming because we have been dominating matches.
"Signing Wes might have caused a few eyebrows to be raised, but I knew he had the ability to play at this level and felt he deserved the chance to do it.
"And it was also nice to see a couple of substitutions pay off. Sometimes they can go against you, but today they worked well."