Harrogate Railway manager Ray Green admitted that Saturday’s last-gasp victory over Clipstone left him “close to tears”.
The win was his first in seven games since taking the helm at Station View following Paul Beesley’s resignation in February, and brings to an end a difficult eight-match losing run for the club.
With time almost up in Saturday’s clash and the scores locked at 0-0, the Railwaymen looked to be heading for a valuable point in their quest to retain their NCEL Premier Division status.
That was until skipper Steve Bromley popped up with a priceless 92nd-minute goal to earn them all three.
“It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve been lost for words. I was close to tears,” said Green of the late winner.
“Sometimes you don’t always get what you deserve in football but on this occasion we did.
“I’m over the moon. Although everyone tells you that you’re doing a good job and the best you can with what you’ve got, I’ve been around football for long enough to know that results do matter.
“It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, to get a result breeds confidence, and with this one everyone can now see that we can win games of football.”
Green was full of praise for his whole team following the victory, but felt that the new central defensive pairing of Harry Higgins and debutant Daz Munday - both recent arrivals from West Yorkshire League Premier Division side Ilkley Town - was key to the success.
“All the lads played their part but the two centre-halves stood out,” Green added.
“Harry talked all the time and that re-assured everybody and Daz came in at the last minute and was big, quick, fighting for everything, a bit unorthodox, but they gave us what we needed.
“We’ve been conceding a lot of goals from corners in recent weeks, partly because we’ve had teenage centre-halves playing at times, but Harry and Daz were winning headers in our box and clearing the ball.
“Clipstone had a few corners in the last 10 minutes and we were under pressure and probably would have conceded from them on another day, because that’s what’s been happening, but everyone else in the team had confidence because they knew that those two were there.
“Liam Gray, who is an old Railway player offered to come in and do a job for us, and hats off to him because he settled everyone down, kept it simple and made challenges when they needed making.
“You could see all the young lads benefited from his experience and they all started to believe a bit, and in the end we got the result.”
Victory for the Starbeck outfit leaves them 11 points clear of the relegation zone and means that 20th-placed Parkgate - the only team in the bottom three who can overtake them - will most-likely need to win four of their remaining five fixtures to have any chance of escaping the drop zone.
And captain Bromley, one of the few experienced heads left at the club after a mini-exodus sparked by Beesley’s departure, revealed that the significance of the result was not lost on the players.
“My first words in the dressing room after the game were that those three points feel like 10,” he said.
“I honestly didn’t think that goal was going to come, but we’re all absolutely delighted. This win has been a long time coming.
“We’ve just got to keep pushing now, I’d like another three to six points between now and the end of the season and I think that’s realistic, but we’ve just got to try and start enjoying our football.”
The Railwaymen will be aiming to make it back-to-back victories when they visit third-placed Bridlington Town on Tuesday evening.