Harrogate manager Simon Weaver hailed Aaron Martin’s match-winning volley after delivering a verbal volley of his own at half-time.
Weaver was unhappy with his team’s standards during the opening 45 minutes against visitors Mansfield, but Martin struck within nine seconds of the restart when he found the bottom corner from 15 yards to clinch a 1-0 win.
The Harrogate boss said: “The second half was a stark contrast to the first. The first half was a poor game all round and we did not contribute much in a football sense.
“We battled hard but the ball was like a hot potato. That’s soon forgotten, though, because of the reaction we saw in the second half after a fantastic goal by Aaron Martin.
“It was a great centre forward’s finish, great technique and a surefire way to get back into my good books after what was said at half-time. I said at half-time, ‘Come on, we are better than this’ and we looked a lot bigger and showed our class in the second half.
“We played a lot more football and showed what we are about. It was a confidence-boosting goal and gave us a lift after looking a bit leggy in the first half and the attitude of the players was phenomenal.”
Mansfield manager Nigel Clough was furious with the manner in which his side conceded straight after the break and admitted confidence is fragile following a run of three straight defeats.
He said: “You can’t win matches when you give goals away like that straight after half-time from the kick-off. We’ve not been disappointed like I am now for the last three months, even during the last two defeats when we played quite well, but giving the game away like that is bitterly disappointing.
“The two center-halves did not deal with the ball into the box. We had had four or five good opportunities in the first half, including a one-on-one when the keeper made a good save and a header that went half a yard wide.
“You then come out for the second half and want to continue in the same vein but we gave them a goal after 10 seconds instead and that defined the game. It was the difference between the two teams.
“If somebody puts one in the top corner, you hold your hands up, but we gifted them the goal and, then, we didn’t do enough to win the game. We’ve lost three games on the spin, which is bitterly disappointing. Confidence is fragile and we seem to have lost some momentum after the break we had.”