Holbeach United joint-manager Graham Drury was delighted with “a scrappy win” over fourth-placed Wisbech Town on Boxing Day.
A fourth successive clean sheet and Matty Nolan’s goal on his home debut produced three points for the Tigers to cut the gap behind league leaders AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
Drury said: “That was our 11th clean sheet of the season and it’s a massive achievement.
“We knew they were going to throw the kitchen sink at us at the end of the game. But we got what we needed.
“To be honest, travelling to the game I said that I would take a scrappy 1-0 win all day long so I’m over the moon with this result.
“It was a local derby so it was always going to be nip and tuck. We came out on top but all credit to Wisbech who are a good side.
“Our two centre-halves were very good and Nolan showed with his goal that he’s clever dropping off into areas.
“He is worth every penny we pay him and I know that having worked with him before.
“We have been resilient to get another win.
“Now there is a lot of pressure on Diamonds, especially if we keep winning.
“If we beat Yaxley and Kempston next month then Diamonds have got to come here and beat us when we could afford a draw due to the games in hand.
“The bottom line is that we’ve now got a 10-point gap over Wisbech and until the end of February we know Peterborough Northern Star are the only top-half side who they play.
“So it was important for us to win against one of our rivals, following up the victory at Cogenhoe United.
“When we came under pressure from Wisbech in the last 10 minutes we needed our defence and goalkeeper to stand firm.
“I think Nick Conroy is the best keeper in the league. He has been consistent all season and he says he’s enjoying his football.
“He came out to punch one clear and then grabbed the ball with both hands at the end. He has been superb.”