York City manager Nigel Worthington hailed his team's spirit as they survived a late scare to claim three points in a 2-1 win over Exeter City.
After failing to score at home in their previous four games, early goals from John McCombe and Michael Coulson proved to be enough despite Exeter going close to equalising in the second half.
The Minstermen are now seven points away from the Sky Bet League Two play-off spots but Worthington has stated that league survival is his first priority.
"We worked very hard for the three points, perhaps it's the hardest I've had to work to help us get over the line," he said.
"The first 20 minutes from the team was great but then it was untidy as we took our foot off the pedal when we were 2-0 up.
"It's happened to me as a player and as a manager, you just have to keep doing what you have done to achieve the 2-0 lead. If you do that you manage the game and see it through instead of making it a tense occasion.
"We're looking to catch up on the play-off situation and gain points there. From Christmas until now we've had a good run and we must stay on it. We're closing in on the 50-51 points that we need for league football (next season). Once we hit that target we will move to the next one, whatever that may be."
Exeter manager Paul Tisdale lamented his side's sluggish start that left them with a mountain to climb.
Trailing 2-0 after 25 minutes, Scot Bennett's goal gave the Grecians a lifeline but despite dominating the second half they could not salvage a point with John O'Flynn striking the post.
Exeter have now won once in 11 games and Tisdale has admitted he is sick of his side coming up just short.
"Over the course of 90 minutes there was plenty of good stuff," he said.
"But the reality of it is the first 25 minutes was way from being good enough. We didn't get out of our half and when that happens you run the risk of goals going in. They won the game in that period and in the second-half it would be hard to fault us.
"We were chasing the game and weren't quite composed enough to put the ball in the net and we ended up losing the game. As a team we weren't purposeful and energetic enough, and that's where we lost it.
"There are people who have travelled a long way to watch us and I'm fed up of being an inch away from winning a game. York played well as a team and kept things simple and they won the game."