A sixth successive defeat, a failure to have a serious effort on target (let alone score) and a loss of discipline which led to a flurry of cards all added up to another tough afternoon for Huntingdon Town.
But the aforementioned collection of events last Saturday - as struggling Town suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of Rushden & Higham in Division One of the United Counties League in a match low on both quality and entertainment – was followed by an unusually upbeat bulletin from boss Jimmy Brattan.
Town were undone by a classy free-kick after 20 minutes before conceding a second goal with 10 minutes to go. They had already-booked defender Odie Wason dismissed in the aftermath of that Rushden & Higham clincher for dissent.
But Brattan insisted: “It was a much better performance, particularly in the second half, than we have produced of late.
“I’m disappointed to lose 2-0 in a game where both of the Rushden goals came from what I felt were soft free-kicks. We can’t afford to be making silly challenges in dangerous areas of the pitch.
“Other than that we did pretty well defensively and it’s great to see the number of goals we’re conceding come down.
“But we haven’t now scored for three games and we’re desperate for a goal. That’s clear to see from the way we had lads snatching at shots when we do get into good positions.
“We have a lot of young players in the side who are not always making the right choices at the right times, but myself and our new coach Alex Cook will work to get that out of them.
“I knew there was a lot of work to do when I came back to the club six-or-seven weeks ago and that’s still the case.”
Town played neatly at times in the second half last Saturday with Ben Keating – a one time Welsh Under 16 international midfielder – involved in the majority of their good work, but they could never create a chance of note for their skipper, and star striker, Corey Kingston.
Goalkeeper Dan Smith is another useful figure in the Town ranks and he produced smart saves in both halves, while pint-sized trickster Keith Mureza could become a real threat if able to handle the physicality of this particular level of football.
Second-bottom Huntingdon go to mid-table Irchester this Saturday, 3pm.