"You've got to enjoy wins like this" says coach after Altrincham victory
First-team coach Craig Saunders felt scoring first was the key to the win Wealdstone ground out away at Altrincham.
The Stones had not scored first since the home encounter with Woking at the start of September and have spent the last ten fixtures chasing the game.
But Olufela Olomola got the visitors' noses in front after 47 minutes at the J. Davidson Stadium and they stayed in front thanks to the sort of defensive display that characterised a start to the season that brought four wins from five games.
"We've given away goals too early in games, so we haven't had a chance to implement our game plan and be effective," said Saunders. "You end up chasing the game and then gaps appear and the games become difficult.
"You're playing against good sides and once you give away early goals and you start leaving gaps, teams exploit you. I think we deserved our goal. I thought we'd been on top for a large portion and, as often happens, once you score you kind of retreat into your shape a little bit and they do have chances. They've got great quality. Ryan Colclough is a fantastic player and people like that you have to try and keep quiet. We rode our luck at points but we managed to hold out and get the three points."
The win ended a run of six straight defeats and was the first since the thrilling come-from-behind success at Aldershot.
"I'm just buzzing for the lads because they got their rewards," said Saunders. "We certainly don't deserve to have lost the amount of games we have, so I'm just pleased for everyone: the chairman, the players and the fans that made their way up in their numbers. They really do back the team. It's going to be ups and downs. The fans aren't silly. They understand where we are, they understand that we're going to pick up points here and there and it's hard on the road against some good sides.
"But they always appreciate and can see what we're trying to achieve. When you concede the number of goals we have recently, you know you're always going to get a few that start doubting what's being done. But you just look at the overall bigger picture, from when we all came in, and how much the squad's improved, how much it's improved in terms of playing style. They can see that, even in the bad results, and they appreciate where we're at and what we're doing. The fans are always fantastic and we appreciate them sticking with us. You've just got to enjoy moments like tonight."
*Pictures by Jon Taffel