Aylesbury FC manager Steve Bateman praised his side’s resolve and character after their 3-1 victory over Buckinghamshire rivals Marlow.
The Moles made a lightning start with two goals inside eight minutes, but a Marlow penalty followed by Ben Stevens’ controversial red card left the game in the balance.
FC showed impressive resilience, however, as a late third goal sealed a sixth successive victory and lifted Bateman’s side up to second in Division One Central.
The Aylesbury boss said: “It’s been a good, strong end to the calendar year for us and I’m delighted with the amount of wins on the bounce and all have been deserved.
“You’re never sure what to expect at this time of year but we came out the blocks quickly on Saturday and were two up insides 10 minutes and it could have been double that, but credit to them, they fought back and got back into the game with a soft penalty.
“Ben Stevens was sent off but we killed the game off with a third goal on the break.
“I thought we showed resolve and sometimes you’ve got to grind out games and that’s good for the soul of the team because it shows character. We also played some good stuff in the opening stages – we cut them to pieces.”
The game was just two minutes old when FC took the lead as good work by Lynton Goss on the right saw the ball fall to Brian Haule, whose cross sailed over goalkeeper O’Neal Garnes and into the net.
Six minutes later it was two with this time Bradley Wadkins heading home a dangerous cross from the right for the rampant hosts.
FC had chances to increase their lead with Aston Goss twice going close, but Marlow grew into the game and began to enjoy more of the ball before halving the deficit when Marcus Mealing was brought down and Jamal Branker dispatched the resulting penalty beyond debutant James Jackson in the home goal.
The Moles were reduced to 10 men in the second half when Stevens saw red for two yellow cards in the space of 30 seconds, but instead of sitting back on their lead, FC pushed forward for a third goal and it duly arrived on 78 minutes when the impressive Wadkins floated over a superb pass for Lynton Goss to fire under Garnes and seal all three points.
The result sees Aylesbury climb above Bedworth United and into second place, seven points adrift of league leaders Kettering Town.