Stevenage manager Alex Revell took heart from beating Sky Bet League Two play-off chasers Harrogate 1-0 while performing far from their best.
The visitors created a host of chances but their profligacy was punished when midfielder Elliott List rounded James Belshaw to score the eventual winner after 52 minutes.
Stevenage are now five games unbeaten in the fourth tier and Revell was delighted with the result.
“It wasn’t the type of football that we know we can play,” he said.
“We didn’t show the patterns that we’d worked on and how we want to break out.
“Because of the group that we’ve got, we managed to change the shape slightly and we had a bit more control in the game and we grew into it, but every time we went on the counter I felt we were a threat.
“This year, we’ve wasted a lot of chances and the one thing we did was to forget about all that, and that’s the real pleasing part of today. It was a fantastic win, but loads to work on.
“What we did as a group was defend excellently and just think we’ve got really good leaders in the side that manage that and want to block and keep the ball out the net.”
The visitors dominated the first half and George Thomson came closest when his deflected effort from a well-worked free-kick routine forced Jamie Cumming into a smart low save.
The closest Stevenage came was a Danny Newton effort that flashed wide of the near post after a flowing counter led by List and Elliot Osborne.
Harrogate were made to pay for missed chances seven minutes after half-time when List latched on to Cumming’s long punt over the top and rounded James Belshaw to tuck home.
Town watched a three-game winning streak go up in smoke and their play-off push derailed, falling six points shy of the top seven.
But manager Simon Weaver focused on the quality of their performance, that suggests they could still contend for promotion in their first season in the English Football League.
“I thought it was a really good performance, we’re really getting there as a team,” he said.
“We played some of the best football we have all season, we were fluid, passed the ball well, created a lot of problems but lacked a little bit of finishing end product.
“One long ball over the top did for us, it’s unfortunate but the lad took his chance well. I couldn’t really fault the performance.
“If we play like that from now until the end of the season it’s going to be an exciting time.
“I don’t want to be too damning on anyone because the effort throughout was brilliant and we’ve played a lot worse and won games.
“There weren’t many faults to really pick on today, but sometimes it doesn’t go your way in football, that’s life.”
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