Tommy Wright rated the feeling of seeing Corby Town finally ending their barren run as the same as winning the Southern League Premier Division title last season.
The Steelmen ended a run of 13 games without a win and seven successive defeats in the Vanarama National League North with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over AFC Telford United at Steel Park.
The victory, which came thanks to goals from Callum Ball, Clayton McDonald and Greg Mills, lifted Corby off the bottom of the table.
And Wright admitted he was “proud” of his players as they sealed a much-needed win.
“It’s a great feeling, probably up there with winning the league at the end of last season,” the Steelmen manager said.
“That was massive for that group of players.
“What we achieved last season, we did it because we were full of confidence.
“Coming into this game we had a group who were very fragile with loads of questions being asked of everybody.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of them because everything I asked of them before the game, they have gone on the pitch and delivered it.
“We gifted them two goals and made it hard for ourselves but they showed a lot of spirit.
“I thought we looked positive from the start. Ben O’Hanlon and Greg Mills looked a massive threat down the left hand side and I said to Bally (Ball) before the game about peeling to the far post and he scored a great goal.
“I have had some really good sit-down chats with him, I rate him immensely and I want to get his career back on track. There were some massive performances and I was really pleased with him.”
Wright was once again joined on the sidelines by Corby under-18 manager Graham Leech as assistant-boss David Clark continues his battle with leukaemia.
And the experienced Leech is now set to be Wright’s stand-in number two for the remainder of the season.
The Corby manager added: “It’s massive for Leechy. I asked him to do it because he is already in the club and he wants to help me.
“From the minute Dave got ill he said ‘I’m here for you when you need me’. The timing was right.
“He came in and he did exactly what I thought he would. He is that shoulder to lean on just for that bit of reassurance.
“I have brought him into the fold for the rest of the season and we will look at it again in the summer.
“He was probably as nervous as me and probably just as excited at the end of it. He is now starting to enjoy his weekends and he has missed that buzz.”