WORCESTER City boss Carl Heeley has built his side’s recovery on a mean, determined defence.

They were within 20 seconds of another shut-out at Workington’s Borough Park when the struggling hosts snatched the winner from a free-kick.

Heeley said: “It’s always frustrating when you lose a game that late, especially when this one had 0-0 written all over it.

“I don’t think there was ever the chance of a lot of goals because ourselves (36) and Workington (35) have the lowest totals in Skrill North.

“They lost 6-1 in midweek so I knew there would be a reaction,. It doesn’t matter what any manager says after that sort of defeat, the players usually want to put it right in the next game and make up for it.

“That was what I expected so full marks to them for keeping going and getting a late winner. They haven’t had a lot of joy this season.”

But if Heeley highlighted the lack of goals in his squad, he also takes pleasure in the low number conceded.

Workington’s winner was only the 48th they have let in – a figure only bettered by top-seven sides North Ferriby (43) and Brackley (42).

Heeley continued: “I’ve been very pleased with how we have been defending in matches.

"Our central pair have been very good at the back and generally we’ve been hard to break down.

“After we made a poor start to the season, we brought in a few new faces and have started to climb out of trouble.The improvement has been based on keeping things tight."

As well as praising his central defensive duo Graham Hutchison and Wayne Thomas, Heeley also acknowledged the contributions of skipper Ellis Deeney.

He added: “He does a good job for us in that role. He was a full-back but we’ve put him into a defensive midfield role where his passing qualities shine through and he’s been enjoying himself in there.”