Longridge Town boss Lee Ashcroft was happy to see his side warm up for Wednesday’s game against Daisy Hill with three points at Shelley.
Goals in each half from Ryan McKenna and Tom Ince gave them a 2-1 victory in a fiery encounter which saw Shelley striker Craig Billington sent off for two yellow cards.
The win leaves Town eight points clear going into tonight’s match at the Mike Riding Ground.
They should have met on December 8, only for the match to be postponed following a pitch inspection and heavy rain.
Ashcroft said: “It wasn’t a question of winning ugly, as we tried to play our football as usual, but a question of winning against an ugly style.
“I was surprised really because, earlier in the season at our place, they played some decent football and gave us a game.
“Today was different, we should have got an early goal and that would have changed the game, but we allowed them to settle.
“I doubt it will be the last time it happens to us this season, and that’s fair enough, but the lads responded really well.
“Richie (Allen) led by example, whilst getting a lot of abuse, and we defended well second half.”
Ashcroft also praised the professionalism of his side who were able to carry on playing their football in a frantic environment.
That culminated in a few scuffles at full-time as Town ultimately reaped the rewards of a battling performance to claim three points.
“I can’t really remember Lee (Dovey, Longridge keeper) having a save to make,” Ashcroft said.
“It was just a question of us getting that second goal, and keeping our heads.
“Thankfully we did both, and took a deserved three points.”
After tonight’s game, Town are back in action on Saturday when they travel to AFC Darwen, looking to atone for November’s home defeat.