DARREN Beale felt Concord Rangers deserved a lot of credit after claiming a 2-1 win over Hemel Hempstead Town despite playing the majority of the National League South encounter with 10 men.

Connor Essam saw red in the first half but goals from Alex Wall and Liam Nash allowed the Beach Boys to emerge victorious.

As a result, Concord climbed into the play-off places and first team coach Beale believes the hosts showed character to come out on top despite the numerical disadvantage.

Beale said: “I can’t speak highly enough about the players in the second half.

“They put a real shift in and, although we dominated in the first half, we didn’t create enough in the final third.

“Hemel scored after Connor’s sending off, so we went from being fairly confident to having our backs to the wall.

“The gaffer (Sammy Moore) got it spot on at the break because he didn’t want to invite pressure and try to hold on. Instead, he wanted to win and still felt we had enough to cause them problems.

“Sammy got the tactics spot on and we dominated even though we were down to 10 men.

“I’m really proud of how the players reacted.”

Concord went into the clash looking to bounce back from their FA Trophy exit seven days earlier and the hosts went ahead seven minutes before the break as Wall slotted home after being found by Nash.

But the Beach Boys were reduced to 10 men as Essam was shown a straight red card on 43 minutes and the visitors profited as they drew level just 60 seconds later.

However, the 10 men regained their lead on 73 minutes as Nash scored a cracking goal.

And Moore’s side held on to return to winning ways.

Concord Rangers: Beasant, Clohessy, Shaw, Essam, Minshull, Sterling, Abdulla (Popo 75), Nash, Wall (Midson 84), Blackman, Kyei (Pollock 46)