BRETT POATE fired Moneyfields to the top of the Southern League east division with a 1-0 win over Chalfont St Peter at Dover Road.
Poate crashed home a free-kick from 30 yards in the 68th minute.
It was a game of few chances with both teams cancelling each other throughout the 90 minutes.
Manager Dave Carter is delighted with the way his team are coping with the step up to the higher level.
‘To be three points clear at the top with a game in hand can’t be bad,’ said Carter.
‘As top of the league we are there to be shot at.
‘We found that a bit with Chalfont who came to us set up not to get beat.
‘They are probably the best team we have played so far this season.
‘We weren’t brilliant in the first half and didn’t retain the ball well enough.
‘In the second half we came out looking a lot better.
‘We remained patient and more importantly kept our discipline.
‘It always looked like one goal was going to win what was a tight affair and it was us who got it.’
Home goalkeeper Steve Mowthorpe, returning from a three-match suspension, prevented the Moneys falling behind with a good first-half save.
At the other end Nathan Paxton sent an effort crashing down off the underside of the crossbar.
Ryan Pennery headed the rebound over the top.
The visitors should have scored five minutes before the break.
A defensive error left Gary Burrell clear but he could only shoot tamely at Mowthorpe.
Pennery was also guilty of another miss just before the interval.
The decisive goal arrived after Marley Ridge was fouled as he looked to burst forward for Moneys.
Poate, as he has done many times before in his long career, fired an unstoppable rocket into the top corner of the net from 25 yards.
The goal was certainly a fitting strike to win the match and keeps Moneys on a very impressive run of form.
They have shown they can compete when they need to and also have the ability in the squad to make the difference in close matches like this.
Manager Carter knows the tough tests will keep on coming at the higher level.
He added: ‘We had to win ugly.
‘That makes it five straight home wins for us which is very pleasing.
‘We now face a tough away game at Hayes & Yeading on Tuesday night.’