Zak Jones was a happy man after Buckingham gave their promotion hopes a major boost when they beat title rivals Stourport 2-1 in the Investec Conference West.
The result takes Buckingham level on points with current leaders Stourport, who sit top of the table only by virtue of a better goal difference.
“Obviously I’m delighted with the result but more importantly it was a much-improved performance,” said Jones afterwards.
“Despite not starting well we showed great resilience to come through a poor first 15 to 20 minutes. We improved markedly in the second period and had the better of the half against a very good side.
“On offence, we moved the ball well, scored a couple of very good goals with some quality finishes and also created other good chances
“On the other side of the ball, our defence was fantastic and we managed our spells when down to ten very well.
“We are still not quite there yet but it was a step forward.”
Buckingham struggled for fluidity in a lacklustre start and were forced to defend a string of early corners before Stourport broke the deadlock with a penalty stroke.
Despite not quite being at their best, the first quarter had been relatively even as Buckingham gradually battled their way back into the match and created a number of decent opportunities.
They drew level before half-time through Abbie Brant who fired a spectacular backhand shot into the top corner.
Buckingham regrouped in the break, started far the better of the two sides and carved out several excellent chances .
Having rediscovered their rhythm on offence and intensity in defence, they took control of the game in the third quarter and made their pressure count when Phoebe Richards used her pace to good effect and smashed home.
Further chances came and went for the hosts but despite some nervy moments in the closing minutes, they held on, with player of the match Frankie Scott outstanding.
Looking ahead, Jones said: “On Saturday, we have another tough challenge away at fourth placed Trojans. We will look to maintain the momentum from that second half during the week and take it into another very important fixture.”