Town boss Neil Aspin heaped praise on defenders Danny Lowe and Liam Hogan after Town held on for a 2-1 win at Bishop’s Stortford.
Town fell behind to a sloppy goal after Gareth Seddon lost the ball in the middle of midfield, but rallied to score two goals in four second half minutes on a red hot day in Hertfordshire.
And, after Town stood firm in the latter stages, Aspin picked out the performances of Lowe and Hogan as one of the most pleasing aspects of the win.
“I’m delighted. It’s a great result for us,” said Aspin.
“I thought our two centre backs were excellent, there were very good defensive performances by both of them.
“It wasn’t their fault for the goal, and I thought throughout they were very good. They did well last season as well.”
Aspin fielded an unfamiliar back-four, with Chris Worsley replacing the injured Ryan Toulson at half-time, and Liam Needham filling in at left-back.
“Chris Worsley had to be thrown on after Ryan Toulson got injured and Liam Needham was out of position at left back as well so I must give them credit - they restricted Stortford to few chances.
On the decision to field Needham in the unfamiliar role, Aspin said: “I felt that while Jason St Juste is a talent going forward, there’s more to defending than pace.
“Talking is a big part of it and you need to keep a good line and I just felt that last week, probably for the first time, we didn’t do that.
“I’d never seen Liam play at left back but I used him there in training during the week and I thought I’d give him a chance because we were a bit stretched. He did a good job.
“Bishop’s are a good side and I think they’re going to do well this season and it’s a difficult place for teams to come and win, particularly because we were 1-0 down.
“I wasn’t happy at half time. I said we need to be better and have more efforts at goal, more desire and commitment and we needed to play in their half more and up the tempo.
“We needed to be better than we were in the first half, even though we created some good chances, but you’ve always got to push for more. It was tremendous result but we can play better.
Aspin said the weather conditions made for an even more difficult afternoon.
“It was 31 degrees so it was very difficult,” he said.
“Regardless of what you’ve done in pre-season, it’s hard to replicate a game where you’re under pressure and it’s really warm, but you would expect it on the first day of the season.
“Playing football in this country you’re going to have to deal with all weather conditions, you have to give credit to the players for digging out a result.
“All points are important at any time, but psychologically to get points in the first game counts for a lot because it’s gets you on the way, and the pressure builds the longer you go without getting that first win.”