DAVID Flitcroft praised the professionalism of his players after they ground out a battling 1-0 win at Stevenage to climb into the League Two play-off places last night.

Ollie Banks’ first-half header was enough to earn the points for the visitors, with the Town midfielder making the most of the one clear-cut chance at the Lamex Stadium.

Swirling rain made for tough playing conditions in Hertfordshire as goal action was at a premium, so Flitcroft was thrilled with the stubborn resolve shown by his troops and how comfortably they were able to see out the contest after getting their noses in front after just a quarter-of-an-hour.

“We had a real good experience in the team. You can’t come to Stevenage with a group of kids and grind a game out,” said Flitcroft, who saw his side avenge December’s 5-2 FA Cup second round defeat against the same opposition.

“I wasn’t expecting to come here and play a pure football match. It’s a wet Tuesday night and I don’t think they have been beaten here for quite a few months, so it was always going to be a difficult encounter.

“After what happened last time, I said I was hurting for the supporters from the FA Cup defeat, it was a case of everyone doing their job and we had some real top performances throughout the team. The lads ran for each other and it was a real galvanised performance.

“It was an absolutely well-deserved win and the lads deserve a lot of credit for that, not just as a team but as a squad. They really were absolutely desperate to come here and get three points because it is an important three points.

“It was one of the catch-up games and it is no good having that and talking about it and then not securing the three points and I thought we did that very well.”

With the January transfer window closing tomorrow, Flitcroft hinted that there could yet be more activity at the club, although outgoings rather than incomings are likely to be the main focus.

“That is a good group of players. If nothing happens, nothing happens and we go forward with this squad, and then with the lads coming back from injury too, we are very competitive,” said Flitcroft.

“You are always trying to balance what you are doing and there is a little bit of surplus but you have no control over whether someone wants to take your players or not.

“You certainly don’t want such a big squad that you have got too many players that have no hope or no chance to be involved.

“We will try to get the balance right and keep working away on Wednesday until we get it right.”