Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Ferguson said his side enjoyed the scrap after edging past Notts County 1-0 to move back on top of League Two.
Andy Williams' eighth league goal of the season was the difference after he noddedTommy Rowe's left-wing cross past goalkeeper Scott Loach on the hour-mark.
"It was a real battle," Ferguson said.
"We didn't expect anything different really, they're fighting for their lives.
"I don't really remember my goalkeeper having much to do.
"I had to change things, they matched us up and I wanted a bit more width especially with the pitch cutting up, we had to find a way to win and playing with more width won us the game.
"They had (Jon) Stead and (Jonathan) Forte up front then they brought on (Vadaine) Oliver, who is even bigger, so we had to deal with that and I thought my three centre-halves were very good.
"For me the most important thing of any team is the character and determination to win games of football, the ability is never enough. It was a battling win and a very important one."