Chris Hardy felt that his Whitby Town side had to work extremely hard for their 1-0 victory over Ashton United at Hurst Cross last night.

The Seasiders made it eight wins in a row in all competitions and scraped through in Manchester thanks to a first half Dale Hopson penalty which would separate the sides.

And despite Ashton’s current lowly position, Hardy was taking nothing away from them as they made the Blues work to take all three points back home.

“The league position for Ashton isn’t a true reflection of their ability,” said Hardy.

“We got our noses in front and had to deal with a fluent Ashton side. We battled hard all over the pitch but it was certainly a hard fought victory that we’ll happily take.

“There are so many positives to take at the moment and obviously winning games of football is the big positive. Our performance on Tuesday was full blooded and fully committed.”

One of the main positives that the Blues’ manager took from this win was the commitment from his side, particularly in the defensive areas where they came under lots a pressure.

Bradley Mills made a crucial block with Jassem Sukar also clearing of the line during the 90 minutes which pleased Hardy more than anything.

“I can never fault the commitment and players do put their bodies on the line,” Hardy stated.

“This has been a theme for a number of weeks now and I feel that the players are getting into a good habit of it which hopefully will last throughout the season.

“Lots of players were heading and kicking everything but when we got the ball back Arran Wearmouth was extremely helpful with his hold-up play.”

Another pleasing aspect for the manager was that Dale Hopson managed to get his name on the scoresheet from the penalty spot in the first half.

Over recent seasons, the team captain hasn’t enjoyed the best of times from the spot but he put this right at Ashton as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

“Dale’s slotted home like we know he can do,” Hardy said.

“There was some good approach play by Mills in the build-up to the penalty being given. This ultimately has helped the team get into this dangerous area.

“Dale’s then stepped up to the mark and done what we know he is capable of. We’re delighted for him and hope this can push him on this season.”