Scunthorpe boss Neil Cox hailed his side’s 3-1 victory over Harrogate as one of their best of the season as they returned from a three-week sabbatical to secure a fourth successive win.
Goals from Devarn Green, Ryan Loft and Lewis Spence earned the Iron all three points in what was their first full game since January.
“I’m really pleased to win after having three weeks off, even training has been difficult because of the weather,” Cox said.
“It was scrappy and it wasn’t entertaining – which is what I want us to be – but the main thing was we got the victory.
“We looked leggy and there was some rustiness about our play, which we knew there would be, but it’s a win again.
“For me, given the circumstances, that’s probably one of our best results of the season so far.
“Harrogate threw a lot of balls at us and hung it up in the air, but never really hurt us. They only really had the penalty – Mark (Howard) hasn’t had another save to make.
“Four wins in succession is brilliant. Last year we only had 10 all season but we’ve now got 11 and we’re starting to score goals and defend better.
“We didn’t play well today but showed fighting spirit, which is what you need.”
Green made the most of being given time and space at the far post to fire the hosts ahead with only four minutes gone.
On-loan Forest Green striker Josh March equalised from the penalty spot in the 27th minute, only for Loft to punish a defensive lapse by racing clear and finishing clinically in first-half stoppage time.
Neither side created much in the second half, with substitute Spence’s curling strike from 25 yards in the 90th minute the one moment of any quality.
“Basic defensive mistakes in the first half cost us,” Harrogate boss Simon Weaver said.
“There was still plenty of time to get back in the game in the second half but we haven’t created nearly enough.
“The game was of poor quality, but Scunthorpe deservedly won because they didn’t make the elementary mistakes that we did, and they finished off their chances.
“The goal right on half-time was a lapse in concentration, but it’s not just about the defence. All game we didn’t show enough quality on the ball.
“At times it was a basketball game and there are moments when we have to show more than that.
“It’s a given that our players will give 100 per cent – they wouldn’t be here otherwise – but we can’t just run around and expect to get back in games without showing a bit of class.
“We’re at a level now where it’s serious and we have to be better on the ball and not have those aberrations defensively.
“There’s no excuses from our side – we just didn’t carry out the game plan well enough.”