NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: No points but plenty of positives as St Neots Town test the table-toppers
- Credit: Archant
The only thing missing for St Neots Town last Saturday was points.
Boss Barry Corr took countless positives from his side's performance as they were pipped by a single goal from table-topping Berkhamsted in a Southern League Division One Central clash.
The visitors stretched their unbeaten run to 11 games with victory at the Premier Plus Stadium, but they were often second-best to a Saints side sitting third-bottom of the standings.
And that was reason for much optimism from manager Corr, who said: "I would say we were probably the better team on the day against the team who are top of the table.
"There was a lot to like about our performance even though we ended the game with nothing to show for it. The players were applauded off the pitch by the supporters and that's a good gauge of how well we did.
"We played with a lot of quality and commitment and often managed to dominate the ball against the leaders. We have to play attractive football as that is what suits the young group of players we have.
"The training has got better and better and that has been matched by our displays on the pitch. I see improvement in front of my eyes with every session and every game.
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"It shows real character to stick to our beliefs and strive to improve even when results aren't going our way."
New recruit John Freeman - a teenage midfielder drafted in on loan from League One club MK Dons - was denied a debut goal last Saturday by a fine save before Aaron Smith saw another effort kept out by Berkhamsted keeper Xavier Leon.
But the high-flying visitors hit the front in their first attack of note when Josh Chamberlain broke clear to fire past Saints keeper Finley Iron in the 18th minute.
Lewis Simper led the Saints search for a leveller when seeing a long-range blast and a free-kick saved by Leon.
Corr's men continued to ask questions of the visitors in the second period when Lee Watkins, Smith and Prince Mutswunguma all missed the target and Freeman just failed to connect with a Joe Sutton cross.
Saints now face opponents from the opposite end of the Division One Central spectrum when they go to rock-bottom Wantage Town this Saturday, 3pm.
They are boosted by the return of captain Tommy Boxer from a two-game ban and Corr is targeting points to add to their recent run of good performances.
"We certainly can't make the mistake of under-estimating Wantage and that is not something we will allow to happen," added Corr.
"It's the first game of a bundle in which we believe we can pick up plenty of points if we continue to perform at the level we have done lately.
"Good performances alone are not enough and the next stage is learning how to win football matches."
Corr hopes to add AFC Sudbury right-back Liam Bennett to his squad ahead of the trip to Wantage.
He is also keen to draft in a new striker with Cambridge United loanee Joe Neal ruled out for the rest of the season by a torn quad which may require surgery.