John Ramshaw praised the Kettering Town players for their persistence as they maintained their perfect start to the new season with a dramatic win over Redditch United.
The Poppies looked to be heading for a goalless draw in their first appearance at Latimer Park this season until Lindon Meikle headed home the winner in the final minute of stoppage-time to spark wild celebrations.
Having claimed a fine 2-1 success at Slough Town on the opening day, Kettering head into their home clash with Basingstoke Town on Saturday with two victories from as many matches.
And first-team coach Ramshaw was delighted to see them fight right until the end to secure all three points.
“The first thing we said to the boys was that we would have lost that game last season and I don’t think there are any doubts whatsoever about that,” he said.
“We have ground one out. I think the fitness levels showed on Saturday and again in this game. We have had a hard pre-season but it’s paid dividends.
“We have ground out a result, it wasn’t pretty but it’s three more points in the bag.
“In terms of the chances they had, I think it was typical Kettering Town at home. We get urged on by a big crowd, they want a result and they want to see us win and sometimes we get caught by chasing it too hard.
“But I thought we defended well, we got countered on twice and Paul White has made an excellent save at the end.
“But the pleasing thing is that the boys have kept going and going and going, they have scored the winner in the 93rd minute and it doesn’t get any better than that does it?”
Ramshaw, meanwhile, felt Meikle’s late winner was well-deserved after what he described as a “special shift” from the summer signing, who was also named man-of-the-match.
“I have known Lindon since he was 16 and the one thing I will say about him is that you always get a shift from him,” Ramshaw added.
“It was one of the reasons we went after him this summer because he is the new ethos of this football club in terms of work-rate and effort.
“It was lovely for him to get the goal because he put in a really special shift for us I thought.”
Don’t miss more news from Latimer Park in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph