Ronnie Moore was relieved his Hartlepool United side managed to grab a clean sheet in the 3-0 win over Dunston UTS.
The Pools defence struggled in pre-season friendlies against Scunthorpe and Gateshead, but showed vast improvement against the Northern League Division One side.
Rakish Bingham broke the deadlock on the 30th minute with a simple tap in before Nicky Featherstone and Jake Carroll added to the tally.
Hartlepool fielded a strong team in their adopted 3-5-2 formation, and have one more pre-season fixture before the League Two opener against Morecambe at The Vic on August 8.
Reflecting on getting back to winning ways, Moore said: “It was a good performance. Dunston UTS are a good side; they passed it well and defended in numbers.
“We’ve had to work on the back three. But tonight we did quite well defensively.
“We’ve got Saturday’s game against Chesterfield which will be a big test for us. They’ve had decent pre-season results against top-quality sides.”
Despite being against non-league opposition, Moore underlined the importance of getting a clean sheet after last week’s defeats to Scunthorpe and Gateshead.
“It doesn’t matter who we are playing against, just keeping a clean sheet is important,” he stressed.
“Scunthorpe are a good side, but against Gateshead we made too many mistakes and didn’t defend well.
“Tonight was a lot better. You can see we’ve done a lot of work on it.
“Going forward we look good. The mobility is quite good, and we are sharp up top.
“We just need to pick the right final ball into the box. “
Meanwhile, Alex Whittle and Zac Thompson were on trial for Hartlepool against Gateshead last Saturday, but didn’t feature against Dunston.
Thompson has been offered a contract elsewhere, while Whittle has attracted interest from a number of other clubs.