Michael Duff hailed Cheltenham’s all-round display as they beat Southend 1-0 to move top of League Two.
Conor Thomas’ second-half penalty was enough to lift the Robins to the summit for the first time since September 2014.
“I thought that was a really good performance because it had a bit of everything: composure, some good football, really good organisation as well towards the end,” Duff said.
“Without scoring three or four, I was really pleased with the performance.
“That’s a really tough game because Southend have conceded two in five against some of the real form teams in the league.
“They set up with 4-5-1 to block it up but we stayed patient, we didn’t rush or start launching it.
“We probed and there was a bit of quality to win the penalty and we saw out the game really well without sitting in, we created some really good chances.”
Midfielder Thomas converted from the spot in the 53rd minute after Leicester loanee Callum Wright was tripped in the box by Shaun Hobson.
A curling shot from Sam Smith was gathered safely by a diving James Montgomery in the 62nd minute and Andy Williams sent an overhead kick just wide of the near post as Cheltenham looked for a second.
The closest Southend came to a leveller was substitute Simeon Akinola’s glancing header which fell just wide of the left post in the 84th minute.
Shrimpers boss Mark Molesley admitted it was tough to take after a spirited effort against the promotion chasers as they remain third from bottom of the table.
“It was a difficult one for us because we matched them and went toe to toe with them,” he said.
“There weren’t loads of chances in the game and it was a tough battle.
“There are positives to be had but at this time of the season you’re looking for points, not positives.
“We defended well, we were organised, but so were they. We’ve got to keep going and keep believing in ourselves.
“We’ve played a lot of the top sides recently and we haven’t come up too far short against any of them. We can take heart from the way we’re competing.
“The attitude and mentality of the boys has been excellent again. We just need to show more quality in the final third.”