Rod Stringer was satisfied with Chelmsford City’s toil after Max Cornhill’s late strike ensured the Clarets their third successive National League South victory, moving them up to third place in the process.
Speaking after the match, Stringer said: “As I said before, I knew it was going to be a tough game. Whitehawk are an experienced side with bags of experience. They are far better than their league position would suggest. They’ve got a good squad there and I thought they would raise their game coming to Chelmsford, making it really difficult for us.
“In truth, I thought there would only be one goal in it. It was a good all-round display, perhaps not an exciting game, but a good game with both teams showing that they were good at what they do.
“We didn’t play as well as I would have liked us to have done during the opening half. We probably had three or four great chances that their goalkeeper did extremely well with. He was really good on the day and was Whitehawk’s man of the match.
“I thought Robbie Willmott and Kane Haysman were largely ineffective during the first half because we couldn’t get them any quality balls. But that corrected itself after the break and that was when we got a foothold in the game.
“Defensively we were sound, but one or two of us never really got going during the first forty-five minutes. Shaun Jeffers was carrying a neck injury. We didn’t see the Jeffers that we know so we brought him off at half-time and put on Chris Dickson for his debut.”
The Clarets chief believed Dickson gave his side an extra edge during the second period, saying: “Chris has a bit of a pedigree and it worked out to be a perfect substitution because he was able to stretch them behind and was a positive introduction to our second half performance, which was a lot better.
“We had a lot more purpose, we had a lot more aggression in our play. We kept the ball well and used the width better.
“Overall we deserved the win. I thought it was a tough win, but it was pleasing to see that we can beat these decent sides in the league if we don’t make silly mistakes and concede poor goals. We’ve always got a goal or two in us and that was important yesterday, knowing that we could win the game 1-0.”
And Stringer had some words of encouragement for visitors, Whitehawk, adding: “With the likes of Mills, Torres and West in their side, Whitehawk are glittering with good footballers. I can only see them climbing the table, I don’t think they will be involved in a relegation battle.