Forest Green manager Mark Cooper was pleased with the way his promotion-hopefuls battled to victory in a 2-0 away win at Port Vale.
Midfielder Reece Brown struck a double in the final 21 minutes as Rovers earned a priceless three points in Staffordshire, a result which sees them sitting sixth in the fourth-tier.
Cooper said: “When you’re up near the top of the league you have to stand up to it, and we did, we dealt with it and we had people putting bodies on the line.
“We didn’t have much energy in the first-half and Port Vale were far better than us, but we were happy to go in at 0-0. We spoke at half-time about getting further up the pitch, (keeping) in mind that we would make changes pretty quickly and once we did that, I think we went in to the ascendancy.
“We decided we needed to put a bit of pace on alongside (Christian) Doidge either side of him and play with a 4-3-3 with (George) Williams and (Junior) Mondal to pin their back four back to give them a number of problems and I think we did that.
“(Reece Brown) is a big coverer of the ground in terms of stats and his second goal was a brilliant finish, he deserves it. He sat the keeper down and dinked it over him, it was fantastic.”
After Ricky Miller was denied in each half by visiting goalkeeper Lewis Ward, Rovers were ahead on 69 minutes when the ball dropped to Brown in the penalty area following a scramble, to arrow a right-footed shot which found the bottom left-corner.
Brown would score his second deep into injury time, lifting the ball over Vale stopper Scott Brown after he galloped 60 yards to go one-on-one.
Vale boss John Askey was pleased with his side’s performance despite the defeat but was left fuming at referee Paul Marsden.
Askey said: “I thought we played well in the first-half, second-half we came out on top, but it was a poor goal to give away but overall I couldn’t have asked anymore of the players, I thought they worked really hard against a decent team.
“We played well today, and, on another day, we may have got at least a point, but as long as the players are giving everything they have got, I couldn’t have asked for more.
“We’re used to bad refereeing at this level with the things you see, his decisions were poor today.
“When you look at the videos back, you ask yourself why they are officiating at this level.
“We were playing against a side who are up there in the play-offs, one of the best teams in the league, and anyone who came to the game would have thought it was the other way around.”