MANAGER Danny Searle felt the credit for Braintree Town's impressive victory against Vanarama National League promotion-chasers AFC Fylde should lie squarely with his team rather than blaming any deficiency on the part of the visitors.

Goals from Mo Sagaf and Courtney Richards secured a 2-1 win on Saturday against a side lying fourth in the table at the start of the day.

Searle said he had seen reports suggesting it was Fylde's lack of spark on the day that led to their downfall, but the Iron boss hit back at that and said it was his players who had not allowed the high-fliers to operate how they have been for much of the season.

"It was a really strong performance by us both in and out of possession," said Searle. "We played some excellent football - probably the best we have so far - and I think it shows that our plans are coming to fruition.

"It shows they players are showing a better understanding of how we want them to do things.

"Whatever age group you are working with, you want to feel you are having an impact and I think our lads are flourishing at the moment.

"I know it's a cliché but I just wish we could have had this group together at Christmas as it would have been great to have seen what they could have done. "We didn't, but it's nice to see it now that we are not capitulating and we are becoming a stronger unit.

"The players have to want it and I think you can see that they do.

"Fylde are a quality outfit so to play like that against them was very pleasing.

"In fact I felt a bit for our players because I'd seen some people saying after the game about how little Fylde had influenced the game, but I thought that was because we did not let them influence the game. "Our players deserved more credit than that as we didn't allow them to play and I felt we dominated with our work ethic."

It was a superb free-kick by Sagaf that put the Iron ahead and the Iron midfielder wasted no time in rushing to the home technical area to celebrate with his manager.

Searle said it was a spontaneous reaction from Sagaf and he was touched that his player had made a beeline for him to make his celebration.

He added: "It was a bit humbling to be honest.

"I certainly wasn't expecting it and it was a lovely gesture from Mo and I guess it came after the faith that I have placed in him and other young players in the side.

"It's nice to be shown appreciation by players, but I'm just pleased for the boys. "These are young men who are working very hard to make a name for themselves in football and if we can give them a platform then that's fantastic.

"Getting that appreciation makes it all worthwhile."