Alex Pike saluted Gosport Borough’s discipline after they cruised to a 2-0 win over Bideford at Privett Park on Saturday.
The Borough boss shook off a virus to take his place in the dugout for the Southern League premier division clash.
And his recovery was boosted by an Adam Wilde double which extended Gosport’s unbeaten run to 11 league matches.
The hosts displayed a cool and calm attitude to see out the victory, keeping a clean sheet in the process.
Pike was delighted by the show and reckoned it was a mark of how far his side have come since they grabbed promotion last term.
‘We’ve played Bideford enough times to know what to expect,’ he said.
‘And once again my lads did what they are good at by soaking up the pressure and hitting them where it hurts most.
‘Once Adam Wilde’s crafty lob had put us a goal ahead – and his free-kick doubled it – all we needed to do to win the match was to keep our discipline and not get involved by throwing our weight about.
‘Again, defensively we were on top for long periods and never got sucked in to making silly challenges to give Bideford the upper hand.
‘Our display showed how far we have come since being promoted.
‘And recent results have lifted us into a position in mid-table.
‘Now we need to see how much further we can go in the second half of the season.’
Gosport sealed all three points in some style on Saturday afternoon – never once surrendering to the intimidating tactics of the tough-tackling Robins.
Sammy Igoe, in particular, called on every ounce of his experience, professionalism and quality to withstand some rough treatment before dominating the midfield battle.
And his example was followed by everyone decked in Borough’s colours.
Man-of-the-match Wilde showed fine finishing to put them in front after 35 minutes.
Gosport’s top scorer Justin Bennett was then felled on the edge of the box – giving Wilde all the invitation he needed to double the advantage with a left-foot rocket that crashed home off the inside of the post.
Just before the interval the Robins came close to reducing the deficit, as Nathan Ashmore failed to claim a cross.
But a last-ditch clearance from Brett Poate spared the keeper’s blushes.
Poate injured his hand as he collided with a post, though, and took no further part – with former Pompey talent Ellis Martin replacing him for the second half.
Martin quickly settled in, though, and like the rest of the Borough side gave as good as he got after the break.
Borough spent a great deal of the second period defending their lead.
However, the nearest Bideford came to pulling a goal back was a shot from long distance from substitute James Richards that just cleared Ashmore’s crossbar.
At the other end Bennett, Tom Dunford and Sam Wilson all went close to extending the lead.
Gosport Borough: Ashmore, King, Poate, Dunford, Molyneaux, Pearce, Igoe, Brown, Wilson, Bennett, Wilde. Subs: Smith, Woodward, Norton, Ford, Martin