Sleaford Town boss Jamie Shaw praised the courage and hard work of his young side at Deeping Rangers on Saturday.
Town headed to the top four side on the back of a chastening 13-0 defeat at fellow title hopefuls Loughborough University, and even Shaw admitted to a little trepidation.
But his young side responded with plenty of character in a 2-0 defeat, with goalkeeper Justin Maxfield making a string of excellent saves, having only been called up for his first team debut just two hours before kick-off.
Shaw said: “I’ll admit to being anxious as player numbers were dwindling and I understood the ability and threat that Deeping have.
“However with enormous help from our second team, we were able to piece together a full squad.
“Deeping dominated the match and were more than deserving of their 2-0 victory, and, of course, it could have been a greater margin of victory.
“The reason it wasn’t was largely down to how incredibly hard our lads worked and they showed great resilience and tactical shape to limit the amount of clear-cut chances Deeping could create.
“I’d like to praise the character of the lads who played and had also been involved last Saturday.
“I’m old enough and thick-skinned enough to deal with the disappointment, but it shows a lot of bottle and courage for teenagers to put themselves out there again to be shot at and that’s a credit to them.”