Paul Cook conceded Chesterfield have sacrificed style for substance in recent times, as his side hit the top of League Two.
The Spireites picked up back-to-back wins on Friday night with 2-0 success over Exeter City coming six days after victory by the same scoreline at home to Plymouth Argyle.
It wasn’t pretty, as the Chesterfield manager admitted, but three points on the road against a play-off chasing side will inject a timely shot in the arm ahead of the Christmas cluster of fixtures.
Ollie Banks celebrated being named Football League Young Player of the Month award for November when he rose unchallenged to head in Callum McFadzean’s corner early in the second half.
Marc Richards showed how composed he can be in front of goal when he finished off a flowing move.
Cook said: “We’ve had a lot of opportunities to go top and put pressure on teams around us, albeit for a an hour, a day or a week.
“We let that chance go possibly against Northampton at home and at Newport away. We wanted to win; we were desperate to win.
“We weren’t good first half. We spoke about being braver on the ball and in possession. We know we’ve got quality at the club in the likes of Marc Richards. The finish from Marc Richards was top class.”
He added: “Great credit must go to the players who have dug in these last few games - the likes of Sam Togwell, Sam Hird and Ian Evatt. Our flair players were not at their best. The conditions made that tricky; certainly we kept going and looked a threat.”
Another positive for the Spireites is that they went through 90 minutes without adding any further names on to an already lengthy injury list.
Banks and Richards were restored to the starting line-up. Sam Morsy and Armand Gnanduillet were named on the substitutes bench, which also had youth team keeper Cameron Mason.