Heanor Town joint bosses Glen Clarence and Paul Postlethwaite paid tribute to their players after the Lions beat Teversal 2-0 on Saturday despite playing most of the game with ten men.
The early sending off of Adam Robley for an alleged elbow during an aerial challenge looked as if it might leave Heanor waiting a little longer for their first win of 2019, but Jamie Sleigh scored twice to see the home side to three points.
And the managerial duo were delighted with the efforts put in.
Postlethwaite said: “The game changed massively in the 17th minute with the sending off. We went 4-4-1 for the rest of the half and never looked like conceding, but also never looked like scoring.
“A bit of a change at the break saw us get the goal and I thought we looked strong again and defended well. limiting them to one or two half chances as well as the great save by Whitey late on before getting the second goal.
“On the red card, I’ve known Adam for a long time, since he was 16, and he jumps like that - with his forearm - and he hasn’t extended it to go with his elbow.
“The ref can judge it either way he wants and he’s given a red card, I think because there had been an incident just before with Adam and also because it was right in front of their dugout. Adam knows he’s given the ref a chance to send him off and he’s taken that chance.”
Clarence added: “Every single player stepped their game up and gave us everything they’ve got.
“We took a bit of a risk at half-time but Teversal hadn’t looked like scoring so we took the chance and had a go.
“That’s what togetherness gets you which is what we’ve preached since we came in and they got the rewards today.”
Postlethwaite also praised two of the squad in particular for their roles in helping to win the game.
He said: “Jordan Ball looked leggy beforehand but then he’s run the length of the pitch to set up one of the goals and that showed real heart and desire.
“It was good to see Jamie Sleigh get the goals too as he’s had a few doubters, although I don’t know why given he’s got plenty of goals for us but has just had a bit of a dry patch. He took his goals well and always gives us everything as he’s a real menace.”
Heanor prepare now to host Rainworth Miners Welfare this weekend, the Wrens having beaten Eastwood CFC last Saturday.
And with a few new faces already recruited, there could be yet more on show for that game.
Clarence said: “We said we needed to look at the players and get to know them personally on all levels but we made a few changes as we want to build a team and there may still be two or three further arrivals.
“We’ve got lads around who we know will run through brick walls for us and we played like we had 12 men against Teversal and not ten which confirmed that.
“We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t want to win every game so we’ll work hard in training again and hopefully continue getting back to enjoying football again.”