Harrogate Railway demonstrated their defensive capabilities when they ground out a 1-0 win at AFC Mansfield in the NCEL Premier Division.
The Locomotives have been involved in a number of high-scoring encounters in recent weeks, but managed to shut out their hosts to record just their second clean-sheet in 27 league games.
And manager Paul Beesley was pleased that his free-scoring team were able to demonstrate another side to their game as Stephen Bromley’s solitary strike proved enough to seal all three points.
“I’ve stated previously that I want my side to play on the front foot as I think it suits us better, but I’m happy to get my first ever 1-0 win as a manager,” he said.
“We’ve scored a lot of goals in the last few months, but also conceded too many, and myself and Liam [Ormsby – Beesley’s assistant manager] recognised that we needed to tighten up at the back.
“We decided to play two holding midfielders at Mansfield, and this really helped us to stay solid. We defended well as a unit, but the back four were particularly impressive.
“Leon Wrigglesworth came in to the side between the sticks and commanded his area well and came for a few crosses, and that instilled a bit of confidence in the lads in front of him.
“I’m delighted with the clean-sheet. I always back us to score at least one goal, so if we can keep shutting the opposition out then I think we’ll continue winning games of football.”
Top-scorer Bromley netted the game’s decisive goal after 39 minutes to register his 12th of the campaign.
David Brown played Beesley in behind the Mansfield defence and the Railway chief took the ball around home gloveman Jason White.
Forced too wide of the goal to be able to shoot himself, Beesley took a touch near the byline and then picked out Bromley, who fired home at the second attempt after his initial strike was blocked.
“We played three up top with Browny and Brommers wide and me down the middle, but they’re both centre forwards really and tended to look to come inside for the most part,” Beesley reflected.
“The one time in the game that the three of us all really combined proved enough to win it for us though, and that’s very pleasing for me.
“As a striker, I’m looking to try and score in every game and I expect the same of our other forwards.
“If I can’t net one myself then I need to be getting assists, and in this case both Browny and myself have been involved in setting up Brommers to score, so that’s all three of us doing our bit.”
The Locomotives’ next fixture sees them entertain Armthorpe Welfare at Station View on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.