Portsmouth Dreadnoughts head coach Luke Head-Rapson said he never lost confidence in his team despite them going behind twice against Bournemouth Bobcats.
A touchdown in the final quarter sealed a 16-8 win for the hosts at Hooks Lane.
The victory continued the Dreadnoughts’ perfect record this season.
They are now joint top of SFC South division two with Hertfordshire Cheetahs, who arrive in Havant on Sunday (2.30pm).
Head-Rapson said: ‘Being behind in the game is never ideal.
‘That is the closest we have come to losing all season.
‘I was confident the team would pull it back, though, and get themselves into the game.
‘We were controlling the game and dominating on defence – apart from one mistake.
‘The problem is one mistake can cost you a touchdown.’
The Bobcats opened the scoring with a field goal following a slow start to the game.
Linebacker Murat Gumus earned the Dreadnoughts a safety at the end of the quarter.
And after the break, the hosts took the lead. Wide-receiver Rich Bloomer ran the ball from two yards for a touchdown for 8-3.
The Dreadnoughts went behind again in the third quarter after the Bobcats scored a touchdown.
But with the end in sight, wide-receiver Jake Smith stepped up.
He caught a pass from quarterback Stu Rees and ran 20 yards to the endzone.
The Dreadnoughts went for two extra points which they scored to end the game 16-8.
Head-Rapson added: ‘Hertfordshire are the toughest team and the best side we are going to face.
‘We just have to prepare ourselves mentally and I am hoping the Bournemouth result makes the team realise we aren’t going to coast through every game.’
‘I do think the game was a little flat.
‘Because we beat them quite easily last time we thought it was going to the same again.
‘That was at the back of people’s minds but Bournemouth had improved hugely and were better than last time.
‘We committed a lot of penalties we didn’t need to commit but Bournemouth played tough and well.
‘They were unlucky to lose, especially by one touchdown but fortunately we won and came out on top.