Spennymoor Town boss Jason Ainsley saw his side were forced to come from behind before claiming a 3-2 victory over Ashington at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.
The Moors boss thought his side deserved all three points – but was quick to acknowledge and reflect on the 90 minutes and describe the contest as being a fantastic advertisement for Northern League football.
Ainsley, who steered his side to lift the prestigious FA Vase last season, said: “I thought both sides deserve an enormous amount of credit for the way they played on a very difficult pitch.
“They all warranted a real pat on the back – and credit to Ashington for working hard to get the game on in the first place.
“It was played in a great spirit between two top quality sides and the result could have gone either way, fortunately for us it went in our favour.”
Ainsley thought the 1-1 score line at the interval was a fair reflection.
“We got the early start with a goal and I thought we might have gone from there,” he said.
“But conditions were really windy and we were against it in the first half during which it also rained.
“It was a definite penalty for Ashington’s equaliser and I thought a draw at half-time was a fair result.”
A wonderful low drive by Sam Norris nudged the home side ahead early in the second period – and the goal rocked the title contenders somewhat.
“I thought we would have kicked on after half-time but to be fair, Ashington came out of the traps a lot stronger than we did,” he added.
“It was a kick up the backside for us when they scored with a great finish from Norris but then we equalised within a minute.”
Ainsley thought the deciding factor lay in the fact that his side took chances whilst Ashington spurned openings.
“I thought we deserved the victory overall,” he said.
“But it’s all about a game of chances and Ashington could have gone 3-2 up before we netted.
“That’s the difference in football because we took our opportunities today and they didn’t.
“I’m more than delighted with the three points because Woodhorn Lane is a very difficult place to come, as has been proven over the season as Ashington had lost only one previous league game on there home turf.”
The boss concluded: “It was a brilliant performance from us and this was a big three points for us today.
“But it was also a fantastic advertisement for Northern League football on a difficult day when it was only the game staged in the league in this area.”