Worksop Town boss Duncan Milligan was a relieved man after the Tigers put a stop to their 12-game winless run on Monday night, with a win at Harrogate Railway Athletic.
Milligan’s men still have a game to go, against Parkgate on 5th May, but showed character and fought hard to see off an already relegated Harrogate side whose season drew to a close.
A 38th-minute penalty from Michael Trench was all that separated the two teams on the night, it coming after Luke Black was impeded advancing towards goal.
Milligan said: “I’m very relieved but let’s not get carried away, it’s still been a terrible run.
“We’re not going to celebrate like we have won the league or anything, we are going to take stock and take it in our stride.
“The glimpses in performances have showed what we can do and we’ve done that today.
“I’m chuffed for the lads who’ve put in the effort today. There were lots of positives to take from this game.”
Trench and Charlie Baird were Worksop’s main sources of experience in another young Tigers line-up.
“Our intention was to feed the young lads in with the experienced guys we have at the club, but we’ve had to alter that due to injuries and suspensions we have suffered,” said Milligan.
“To come to a Northern Counties Eastern League ground and a team like today and play like we have has made us proud.
“Baird is only 19, though people may think he is older, and he’s stood up and led us.
“We are proud, very proud and the lads in the dressing room are happy and feel like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders.”
And added: “I thought the spine of our team was excellent.
“Diggles made some great saves, Jack Holden was fantastic, Luke Smith was bombing on, Tyler Lysons battled hard, Trenchie was good again. Many players were in different positions to normal but they didn’t look out of place.”
Milligan said he expected players to return for Saturday’s final game but the young players had staked a claim for a spot with their performances against Harrogate.
He left the final word for the fans: “The fans will be there as they always are. They always turn up in numbers, a Monday night at Harrogate is a difficult one to make due to working and the ones that were here were fantastic as they cheered on the boys. We want to end on something to cheer for.”