Lee Bradbury lauded a magnificent ‘backs to the wall’ performance after the Hawks beat Bromley 1-0 at Westleigh Park.
Bromley may have felt mugged after dominating the contest for long spells.
But Bradbury and his players won’t worry about that as they leapfrogged Dover into fifth place in the Skrill South
Another win tonight against relegation-battling Maidenhead United at Westleigh Park will see the Hawks cement their position further.
An Aristide Bassele goal, against the run of play, in first-half stoppage time, proved enough to decide the contest.
The Hawks defenders then had to stand firm as Bromley powered forward in the second half chasing an equaliser.
A combination of bravery, guts, resilience and on one occasion a huge slice of luck kept their play-off chasing rivals at bay.
‘I thought the lads defended really well and our clean sheet was well earned,’ said Bradbury.
‘At times we had to defend for our lives and you could see how much the lads wanted it.
‘They are determined to reach the play-offs.
‘This win goes a long way towards helping us achieve that.
‘The players have to take a lot of credit because we have had a gruelling week with two defeats at Staines and Sutton.
‘To put on this performance and dig in like they did shows a lot of character.
‘Five of our last seven games are at home.
‘We must look to make the most of that.’
The visitors looked far more inventive going forward in the opening 45 minutes and were unlucky not to take a deserved lead.
A neat passing move put Bradley Goldberg in a good position and his deft shot bounced back off the crossbar, with Hawks keeper Benji Buchel stranded.
The Hawks made limited progress up front, where on-loan striker Matt Paterson largely found himself isolated.
However, on the stroke of half-time a clever piece of individual finishing from Bassele put the Hawks in the driving seat.
‘After we scored, Bromley threw everything at us in a bid to win the game,’ said Bradbury.
‘But we answered every question they put to us and towards the end looked like we could hurt them on the counter-attack.
‘I thought both Ed Harris and our goalkeeper Buchel were immense and our defence continue to impress me, week in, week out.’
In the closing minutes, the hosts had a huge slice of good fortune.
A Louis Dennis header crashed down off the underside of the bar, then bounced into Buchel’s arms, via the inside of the post.
Hawks: Buchel, Newton, Blanchett, Ryan, Strugnell, Harris, Ciardini (Cummings 71mins), Atangana, Paterson (Kabba 70mins), Donnely, Bassele (Nanetti 86mins).