Alton manager Kevin Adair praised his side after they scored a dramatic late winner to beat Fleet Town 1-0 at Anstey Park in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday afternoon.
Evan Anderson tapped home on 89 minutes to give the Brewers the three points after a superb run and cross by Archie Larkham.
Fleet were reduced to ten men on 33 minutes when Liam Pestle was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle, but the visitors dug in and made life difficult for Alton.
Adair was delighted to see his side keep going to the end and find a winner.
“In the past we’ve struggled against ten men and struggled to break teams down,” said Adair. “Sometimes we’re not creative enough or imaginative enough.
“With the sending off happening so early our game plan was not relevant to how we needed to play against ten.
“We needed to be patient and we needed to be disciplined. We didn’t look like we were going to concede at any point, but when you move the ball slowly and you’re playing against ten men you give them time to get back in and then you’ve got to be really good to break them down.
“Their keeper has made four really good saves, and we’ve probably had four other chances we’ve not hit the target with. If you look at the game I think you’d probably say we needed to win it on the way that things went. You’ve got to keep going and make sure you don’t make a mistake. It’s two clean sheets in a row and two wins in a row.
“We’ve got some big issues injury-wise and availability-wise but we keep plugging away – that’s my job. I’ve got to get the team on the pitch and then their job is to carry out what I ask them to do.
“I’m happy – two wins on the bounce is really good for us, coming off the back of a really tough October.
“Even in the toughest of times the changing room has never looked like it’s going to break up. It won’t do because that’s what we’re built on.
“We’re built on enjoying being here, but to really enjoy it we want to win – that makes all the difference.
“Hopefully we can push on. We’ve got a really busy November now. The weather is going to play a part in the next few weeks, but we’ve got three more home games in November which will all be on.
“The group is good enough to win games of football against anyone in the league.
“I don’t think there’s many teams that we’ve been dominated by. We didn’t work hard enough in a couple of games this year but no-one has dominated us.
“Our target now is to get some sort of continuity with availability of players. That will be the key thing for us because we’ve got people knowing they’re going to play some weeks because they look and know who is not available.
“I really want a week where I’ve got to sit someone down and not pick them. I’m a nice manager because I’m not telling anyone that’s the case.”
Next up for the Brewers is a home game against Spelthorne Sports in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday (3pm), and Adair is hoping to build on the momentum created by two successive wins.
“We’ll look forward to that off the back of two wins,” said Adair. “Spelthorne are in and around where we are in the league so these are the games we’ve got to be looking to win.
“We’ve got a Friday night visit to Farnham later in the month – so we want to go into that full of confidence.
“We’ve got three games previous to that, so they’re more important to us.
“In the next few weeks you’re going to lose a lot of games, so whenever we’re at home we’re going to be able to keep playing – so getting points on the board is important.
“Teams may have games in hand on us, but points on the board are much better.”