Clive Allen saluted a superb first half display after the reserves ended their recent sticky patch with a 5-2 victory over Derby County at Stevenage on Wednesday evening.
Without a win in five games, the second string set about their task from the off and were ahead on just two minutes through Mounir El Hamdaoui and four ahead - courtesy of a Lee Barnard hat-trick - by half-time. Derby did rally in the second period, reducing the deficit by two before the outcome was well and truly sealed with an Emil Hallfredsson goal in the final moments.
"I was delighted with the way we started the game, with the possession football we played," reflected Clive afterwards. "The crossing and finishing we've done has paid off and their were some excellent crosses. We found the back of the net and it was a good performance in that first 45 minutes.
"It was a frustration in the second half. We expected them to come out fast and they did - for a period we didn't match them and nearly paid a heavy price. We finished off well though and had a few opportunities when we played in the right way.
"The result was an excellent one after a few disappointing ones recently."
The intensity and vigour with which the team dismantled their opponents was in stark contrast to the lacklustre display at Ipswich last week and Clive suspects some tough talking could well have hit home after that 1-0 defeat.
"Very much so, there were a few harsh words last week at Ipswich and no doubt I made my feelings clear. I think they understood that and the effort in training over the last week along with the work we've done has paid off.
"The thing is, as I've said a number of times this season, they have set themselves levels and we we reach, or nearly reach, those levels I think we are a very good side with individuals performing in the right way.
"Here we were excellent for 45 minutes then frustrating for the other 45. I think you do get that at this level, I'm beginning to understand that more, but I am delighted with the result this week."