ADAM Lakeland said Northwich Victoria’s victory at Glossop North End, secured by two first-half goals, showed his players have the character needed for Wednesday’s play-offs semi-final against the same opponents.
Vics have ended the campaign in form, winning six of their past seven matches, to finish third in the table.
It means they will host the Hillmen, who won 1-0 at Wincham Park last week, when the teams meet again.
“I thought we dealt with their pressure brilliantly,” he said afterwards.
“We kept our discipline and shape, limiting them to a couple of half-chances.
“The damage was done before half-time, after which our performance was a professional and controlled one.”
Vics took the lead after 15 minutes on Saturday, when Stuart Cook drilled low past goalkeeper Andy Robertson from the edge of the box after Simon Lakeland won back possession.
A second goal arrived when Iain Howard’s cross was met by Matt Regan with a downward header into the far corner.
The Hillmen were relieved not to fall further behind when Brian Summerskill’s attempt struck a post from Howard’s set-piece.
Summerskill shot wide midway through the second half, while at the other end Mason Springthorpe pushed away Martyn Andrews’ effort from distance.
Robertson also prodded away substitute Josh Amis’ shot with his boot after Howard had sent the front man clear.
Lakeland added: “We knew they would attack after we went in front, and that left us space in which to play.
“The game became more stretched in the second half, which gave us a chance to counter, although I don’t feel we capitalised as well as we should have.”
Vics will host Glossop at Wincham Park on Wednesday, kick off 7.45pm.
Spennymoor, who finished as runners-up to champions Warrington, take on Burscough in the other semi-final 24 hours earlier.
Glossop | Robertson (GK), Kelvin Lugsden, Russell, Barnes, Young, Andrews, Mulholland, Rainford, Reed (Richardson 65), Kieran Lugsden (Brizell 65), Parker (Moran 55) Subs not used Bailey, Carey
Vics | Springthorpe (GK), Byrne, Watson, Regan, Duxbury, Cook, Summerskill, Simon Lakeland (Gyimah 88), Howard, Bennett (Amis 69) Burnett (Ball 69) Subs not used Roddy, Clarke Goals Cook 15, Regan 35
Referee Declan Bourne