Colin Calderwood praised Cambridge’s win against Plymouth as the most satisfying of the season.
Right-back Kyle Knoyle’s goal proved decisive as the U’s won 1-0 to secure their first victory in seven games.
The result lifts the U’s to within two points of their opponents and another two away from Sky Bet League Two’s play-off positions.
“It was a hard-fought victory,” reflected Calderwood. “We knew we would have to be good through large parts of the game to really compete against a good side.
“I felt in the first half we did particularly well and were better with the ball than in the second half.
“In the second half, the thing that’s really positive for us is the stoutness in defending and limiting them to shots from distance or crosses that were really dangerous but never really that clear-cut moment. It’s as satisfying a win as we’ve had this season, for me.
“Kyle was in a position he finds himself on a Friday morning knockabout: up front, rattling about pretending to be Ian Wright or somebody like that. A little dribble and finish but the bit before that was excellent.
“You would want to maybe nick another one to make it a little bit more comfortable but I think it just lends to the excitement.
“It was an excellent game for League Two and I think you’ve got to commend both teams for that.
“I’m thoroughly delighted. The lads will be well pleased with themselves and they deserve it. They’ve got their heads down in the last couple of weeks and done some graft and they’ve got their reward.”
Ryan Lowe was frustrated by Argyle’s inconsistency after Plymouth fell to their first loss in five games.
“The first half was nowhere near good enough,” he said afterwards.
“The second half was a lot better but you can’t have too many of your big players off (their game).
“Fair play to them, they go about their business the right way. They’re aggressive, they move the ball quick and get it up front quick. We couldn’t live with it.
“The first-half performance doesn’t epitomise me, my staff and the football club. Why that was, I don’t know. I just want them to play the way I want them to play and they didn’t do that.
“In the second half we were the best team, probably by a mile, but we just lacked that little bit of quality. When we needed someone to step up we just didn’t quite have that.
“It’s work in progress. Sometimes we start becoming a good team and then we falter. We need to find that consistent balance. Once you find that you will have that smooth ride where you need to get to.”