Neal Ardley was delighted to see us come away with a win from an action-packed encounter with Bromley to round off our festive fixtures.
Goals from Wes Thomas and Connell Rawlinson either side of a Michael Cheek strike took us to 13 points from a possible 15 over the Christmas period.
Mitch Rose’s first-half penalty miss proved uncostly as we recorded a hard-fought win against the Ravens, who saw Chris Bush dismissed late on.
And the boss felt the way we dug in was vital to earn the points from a thrilling game at Meadow Lane.
“The way we defended our box and put heads and bodies in front of things was sensational,” said Ardley.
“We showed everything a working man would like – bodies on the line, effort, energy, tempo and togetherness.
“I’d love to play swashbuckling football but today we had to dig in – it was substance and grit over style.
“That match was relentless right from the first minute and a great advert for the league.”
The boss was quick to praise Bromley for how difficult they made the game but was pleased to see us secure a different type of win.
“They’re one of the best teams we’ve played in terms of making us hang on here on our own patch,” he said.
“When we were there we controlled the game but today we couldn’t and I have to give credit to Bromley because they condensed the pitch.
“Their intensity meant we had to go more direct and it became a struggle, but we had to make sure we didn’t play into their hands.
“As a team we stuck with it.”
And with the Christmas period now complete, Ardley will look back on recent weeks fondly.
“We wanted nine points over the five games because that would keep us in contention,” he revealed.
“We’ve gone beyond that and are right back in the mix.
“When you look back to our sticky spell, you can see we leaked goals but we’ve cut that out and defended brilliantly.
“Clean sheets and good defending keep you in games and that’s what got us the points.”