Glen Clarence praised his Heanor Town side’s never-say-die attitude as they returned to winning ways on Tuesday night.
The 3-2 win at Coleshill Town was only the Lions’ second league victory of the season and was helped by an excellent first-half that saw them lead 3-0 at the break.
And although Coleshill battled back to nearly earn a share of the points, Clarence was happy with how his team held out.
He said: “It was a game of two halves. We were ruthless in the first-half, have come in 3-0 up and I don’t think Joe’s had a save to make.
“We knew they’d be a threat in the second-half and even at 3-0 we weren’t safe given the quality Coleshill have, but our never-say-die attitude was superb.
“I felt their second goal saw a blatant hand ball by their lad that everyone saw except the ref, and it’s ended up leading to me being sent off for compaining about it.
“But it’s a massive three points and what we needed. I’d asked for us to be ruthless and together and we certainly were that tonight.”
Tuesday’s win came off the back of a 4-2 defeat at Matlock Town in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday.
The Gladiators play two levels higher than Heanor and although they were favourites to win, Clarence was upset with the manner of the defeat.
He said: “We made some clinical schoolboy errors in a big game. We’d sent them out with the right messages but to be 3-0 down inside 25 minutes was embarrassing
“We got back into it before half-time and if the next goal had been ours we’d have had a chance, but then another silly mistake cost us. We huffed and puffed but lost the game due to stupid mistakes in a massive game.”
Attention now turns to the FA Vase and a trip to Rainworth Miners Welfare of the NCEL Premier Division on Saturday. Welfare sit 16th in the early standings but Clarence expects a tough game.
He said: “As we found at Matlock, playing teams from different leagues with refs from different leagues and who perhaps ref games differently as a result can be an eye opener.
“I expect a physical game which might suit us. Rainworth are a good side, we know that. Everyone wants a good run in the FA Vase and we’re no different as it would be good for the whole club.”