Tom Shaw believes he watched his Gainsborough Trinity squad grow from boys to men in Tuesday night's victory over Morpeth Town.
Toby Gould and Bradley Grayson put the Holy Blues 2-0 up at the Northolme before Jack Foalle made it a tense final 10 minutes as he pulled one back for the visitors.
However, Trinity held on for their second win of the Northern Premier League season.
Head coach Shaw believes 'expectations grew too quickly' following a good pre-season, but was delighted to see his side find their feet with a 'gritty' performance.
"What I’m so happy about tonight is that I saw some young players - and I know I’m not supposed to mention young players - but they’re young players because they’ve come through academy football. They’re inexperienced players," he said.
"I watched them grow tonight, I watched them be demanding of each other.
"I watched them drive each other on, they weren’t accepting of any poor behaviour or poor work ethics - they told their mate.
That is the most pleasing part of this evening, watching some players who have not watched much men's football, behaving like adults and doing what's required to put in a really gritty performance."
Shaw will now be hoping for more of the same as Trinity travel to Warrington Town on Saturday and Basford United on Tuesday.