Cambridge boss Mark Bonner saluted his team’s intensity after they rallied from an early two-goal deficit to triumph 4-2 at Oldham.
The U’s remain in second place in the table after rivals Cheltenham struck late to win their game at Exeter.
However, a delighted Bonner said: “Obviously we were a bit stunned with the two goals early on, but the response from the players was excellent.
“We got punished in those early moments, but I was delighted with the intensity and the determination we showed to dig out the situation before half-time.
“We chased the game back, and that was a great effort from the lads in what was our seventh game in three and a half weeks.
“The game was full of chances at either end, but I was delighted with the way we sniffed out our opportunities and took them.
“We have played more games than everyone else up there more or less, but I’m still happy with that – we’re in a great position.
“It’s up to us to stay there now, but we’ll do our utmost.
“We’ll attack these final games of the season now, we’ll be brave and give it everything.
“It’s up to the teams around us to keep chasing too, but we’ll keep the pressure on.
“We’ve won 18 out of 36 games this season now, and that’s good by anyone’s standards.”
Oldham were two clear by the 11th minute thanks to a couple of smart finishes from Davis Keillor-Dunn.
However, by the interval they were behind.
Paul Mullin slotted home his 26th goal of the season from the spot, before two left-footed efforts from Jack Iredale turned the game on its head.
Keillor-Dunn saw a spot-kick saved by Callum Burton as he missed his hat-trick chance in the 69th minute, before the U’s punished that soon after when sub Luke Hannant curled home direct from a corner-kick to seal the visitors’ deserved victory.
Keith Curle’s first home game in charge of Oldham had ended in defeat, but he enjoyed the early stages.
He said: “I very much enjoyed the opening 25 minutes.
“We got ourselves 2-0 in front and could have had more maybe, but we were up against a very good Cambridge team and they carry a real goal threat.
“Perhaps some of the players got a bit wrapped in the emotion of the day, though.
“At half-time when we were behind we needed to show a bit more maturity maybe, and at that point we needed to press the reset button and go again.
“I’ve already seen we’ve got some good footballers here.
“There’s some really exciting and very good technical players in the squad, but it’s about trying to create a foundation here.
“From that we can then try and discover more of a killer instinct and really start to smell blood.
“Goals change games of course, and I see this as an opportunity missed here today.
“We need to be more ruthless.”