Dean Holdsworth believes Aldershot's battling 1-1 draw at Oxford can now kick-start their league campaign.
The Shots had only won one of their four League Two games going into the clash and must have feared the worst when left-back Anthony Straker was sent off in the 12th minute. They then went a goal down nine minutes later, but Holdsworth's men battled back and deservedly equalised through Luke Guttridge in the second half.
Holdsworth said: "For us to come to Oxford and go down to 10 men and battle back, having gone to extra-time at West Ham on Wednesday night, was magnificent."
He added: "Fitness is key but our character and team spirit was massive. Oxford put us under a lot of pressure but we stood toe-to-toe with 10 men against 11.
"We do that a lot in training, playing 10 against 11, and it's on occasions like this when the work pays off. I thought the red card was harsh, but then I'm biased.
"We had to regroup and then they scored. But I got them in at half-time and told the players I wanted us to break the second half down into three periods and get through each one.
"We're a very good counter-attacking side and we did that particularly well in this game and created numerous chances. To go 80 minutes against a good Oxford side with a man down and come away with a draw is a terrific achievement."
For United manager Chris Wilder it was a disappointing afternoon after the euphoria of his team's derby win at Swindon - their first at the County Ground for 38 years.
"It was a massive missed opportunity," he said. "But I don't think we deserved anything more than a point. We just tried to cruise through the second half.
"Fair play to Dean (Holdsworth) because I thought they deserved to get something from the game. We weren't clever enough to break them down, and didn't show enough desire."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms