Mick Catlin hailed the resilience of Gosport Borough as they ground out a 1-1 draw at Hemel Hempstead in Southern League premier division.
The Privett Park outfit stretched their unbeaten league run to 19 games as they stood firm against their second-placed hosts.
And Catlin reckons it is the players’ pride which is the key factor in a run of form which has propelled them into genuine promotion contenders.
‘You can see in the players’ eyes they are proud of their run and want to keep it going,’ said Borough’s assistant manager.
‘It is a great feat at any level and our players have the bit between their teeth.
‘Any team that wants to take it away from them will have to work very hard and play well.
‘The players are determined not to throw it away.
‘They showed on Saturday they will put their bodies on the line and give it everything they have.’
Borough broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute.
Rory Williams raced down the right and when his shot was pushed out, Dan Wooden knocked in the rebound.
Three minutes later poor communication between keeper Nathan Ashmore and centre-back Lee Molyneaux gifted the home side an equaliser.
It was the only mistake the Borough defence made all afternoon, though.
‘We came under a lot of pressure at times but we defended magnificently,’ said Catlin.
‘Our back four was immense and in the end we were a little disappointed not to come away with a win.’
After the break, both teams enjoyed spells of possession but Borough went closest to netting a winner.
However, Sammy Igoe’s effort was cleared off the line and Jamie Brown nodded narrowly wide.
Defences were dominant for the remainder of the game and, in the end, both teams were happy to settle for a draw.
‘It keeps us right up there pushing the top five,’ said Catlin.
‘Forcing our way into the play-off zone is proving hard but all we can do is keep our run going and see where it takes us.’