ALEX PIKE praised the bravery and character of his Gosport Borough players after their 2-1 win at Oxford City in the Vanarama National South.
The visitors had Mike Carter sent off after 28 minutes and fell behind seven minutes later.
Joe Oastler equalised before the break and Dan Wooden popped up with a second-half winner to crown a brilliant show of strength.
Manager Pike was pleased with the way his players responded.
He said: ‘We had to show bags of character.
‘I have no arguments with the sending off.
‘What we saw was tremendous team spirit and character from players to get their team-mate off the hook.
‘My players refused to give it up, they have not had the best of times lately so it was even more commendable.
‘It is what I expected from them, though, because they are quality players.
‘We also displayed excellent discipline making sure we defended with two banks of four with a striker up top to keep our opponents on their toes.
‘Warren Bentley ran his socks off and in the end I was forced to substitute him.
‘I sent on Ollie Bailey and his fresh legs paid off when he set up Dan Wooden for the winning goal.
‘Now we have something to build on and can go into the next game against Ebbsfleet with increased confidence.’
Striker Ben Wright came in for the injured Chris Flood and Wooden replaced Ben Harding in midfield.
On 28 minutes the visitors were dealt a massive blow when Carter was sent off for his reaction after a challenge from Scott Davies.
And Davies then added insult to injury by putting the home side in front seven minutes later.
Immediately after this Pike made a change, replacing Wright with Harding to bolster the midfield.
Despite their problems Borough hit back to equalise in the 38th minute with Oastler scoring direct from a free-kick.
Despite being a man short Borough put their hosts under a period of sustained pressure midway through the second half.
Striker Warren Bentley was working his socks off up front and giving the home defenders plenty to think about.
He ran himself into the ground and in the 75th minute was replaced by Ollie Bailey.
Seven minutes later Bailey helped Borough take the lead.
He picked out Wooden to the left of the area and the Borough forward smashed his shot past the keeper and into the net.
Borough weathered a late storm with TJ Cuthbertson superb in defence.
GOSPORT BOROUGH: Rice, Cuthbertson, Bird, Carter, Poate, Oastler, Dawson, Wooden, Wright, Bentley, Carmichael. Subs: Harding, Pearce, Barron, Bailey