Billy Heath paid tribute to his Alfreton Town players after they earned a 0-0 draw with AFC Telford United on Monday.
United are on the verge of the play-off places but in a game of few chances, the Reds secured an impressive point.
And that left Heath a happy man.
He said: “I thought every single player was magnificent today. We were down to the bare bones but they just worked so hard for each other, did what they needed to do at the right time and defended as if their lives depended on it.
“There’s a lot of stiff legs and a lot of stiff bodies going into the Derbyshire Senior Cup final on Wednesday and it was tough, but a really good team performance.
“I think the performance sums up the season - we’ve been too erratic, too up and down, have looked a good side in some games and not so great in others.
“We’ve gone from conceding a few goals in recent games to coming to Telford on a Bank Holiday Monday and keeping a clean sheet when they’ve got to win the game.”
Heath says the team for Wednesday’s final with Mickleover Sports at Pride Park will be dictated by fitness levels.
He said: “Of the lads that came off the pitch at the end probably 40 per cent have got knocks - we’re going to have to try and get out there on Wednesday and see where it takes us.
“The way the game’s been set up for the Wednesday after the Bank Holiday is a travesty - it’s not for the players, it’s for other people.
“It’s ridiculous, but unfortunately that’s how it is”