The gaffer praised his Bulls side for the response he was after, as AFC finished the season on a high with a 2-1 win over Frickley at the Forest Town Arena.
Ellis Wall's first-half superstrike and Charlie Dawes' close-range finish in the second half was enough to complete a double over the Blues and a third win in four outings.
"It was a decent performance against a very good side," manager Mark Ward told Bulls TV.
"I had a go at them after the Stamford game and I think I had my right to do that, and since then I got a reaction at Carlton and a reaction today; that's all you can ask for.
"I'm proud of them for what they've done for me and they reaction they gave after Rudy [Funk] leaving, because a lot of the lads signed for Rudy.
"Unfortunately we couldn't pip Stocksbridge to 14th place but I'm more than happy."
Assistant manager Jon Froggatt felt that the management's response to last weekend's 4-0 home defeat to Stamford gave their side the kick they needed: "They know that they've got standards, and when they play to those standards we can match most teams in this league.
"The club getting relegated is a kick in the teeth for the lads, really, and that probably showed in that game.
"But credit is where credit's due - the response in the last two games has been absolutely fantastic and we've gone and beaten a very good side out there today."
Looking onward to next season, the boss didn't want to get carried away with the idea of momentum.
"I don't think you can read too much into it, I'm just happy that we finished off the season well.
"It would be nice to get a summer under our belt and impose what we want, because there are still things we need to work on, definitely."