Paul Holleran paid tribute to Leamington captain Danny Newton after the forward’s wonder strike settled Saturday’s relegation six-pointer against Gainsborough Trinity.
Delroy Gordon’s first-half header was cancelled out by a fine free-kick from Jamie Yates shortly after half-time and a cagey affair looked to heading for stalemate before Newton’s bolt from the blue settled the Conference North clash.
And Holleran said that despite misgivings about Newton’s play in the build-up to the goal, the quality of the winner was not in question.
“He was sloppy in possession but he got the ball back and found a couple of yards of space and then he came up with the goods,” said Holleran.
“It was a great strike, the shot came from nowhere; a stunner.
“I’ve been delighted with Danny since he went back to a more central role.
“His performances and work ethic deserve goals.
“He leads from the front and thrives on the captaincy, he has really taken to it.”
The victory over Gainsborough lifted Brakes up to 17th in the table and they are now closer to Harrogate Town in 13th than the bottom three, a fact that has not escaped Holleran.
“All of a sudden we’re up to 33 points and last year’s points tally (52) doesn’t seem a million miles away.
“We had a little spell when we were sucked into it and it wasn’t nice, but now I want us to start looking the other way.
“Saturday was a big one for us and now we’re five points away with a game in hand on a few of the teams below us.
“The home form has given us that platform and since I’ve been here our home form has always been good.
“That comes from the great support we have at home; the players all enjoy playing there.”
Another home game follows tomorrow, with league leaders Barrow the visitors.
The Holker Street side will be looking to get their title push back on track following a home defeat to Solihull Moors, but Holleran says it is a challenge his side will relish.
“They’re a big, strong, direct, well organised non-league side.
“They’ve got a host of good players and it will be a tough game.
“At the moment they’re the best team in the league and you want to go up against the best players in the league.
“We don’t worry about playing anyone at home.”