Huntingdon Town produced their best performance of the new United Counties League season last Saturday – despite suffering their worst result.
Jimmy Brattan's men were beaten 1-0 at Melton Town as they went down to a first defeat of the Division One campaign.
The Town chief was quick to insist there was no disgrace in losing to the title favourites, but he also felt his side were unfortunate not to share the spoils in a contest settled by a deflected goal with 20 minutes to go.
"We lost 8-0 at Melton last season when we were given an absolute footballing lesson for 90 minutes," said Brattan.
"Even then the scoreline flattered us on that occasion, but it was the other way round on Saturday when I felt we did enough to get something from the game.
"The fact we're disappointed to have been beaten 1-0 highlights how much progress we have made in the time since we last went there in January.
"Our squad lacked quality and quantity at that point, but have both of those things now and we showed it against the team who will probably win the title.
"They are a very good side, but I felt a draw would have been a fair result and the Melton management told me exactly the same.
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"It might be our worst results of the season in that it is our first defeat, but it was definitely our best performance so far."
It was a game of few chances at Melton as Huntingdon more than matched their highly-touted hosts.
Town's best opportunities both fell to captain Corey Kingston. He lofted his shot just over the bar after pouncing on a poor defensive header later in the first half and was then inches away from a leveller with a rising shot on the turn in the second period.
Huntingdon face another tough test this Saturday when hosting Aylestone Park, 3pm. The Leicestershire side will arrive at Jubilee Park in possession of a 100 per-cent league record after winning their opening three Division One outings.
Brattan added: "Aylestone Park have started well but all three of their wins have been against teams who are struggling early on.
"It's going to be another tough game but then again I don't expect to have any easy ones all season.
"I'm very happy with how we've started and we have a decent platform on which to build. It's important our level of performance remains high as we try to keep ourselves in the right part of the table."
Before then Town to go to Premier Division side Peterborough Northern Star in the opening round of the KO Cup tomorrow night (Tuesday).