RICKY Marheineke said he had mixed emotions after Huntingdon Town opened their season with a 1-1 draw at Desborough Town – ahead of tonight’s big home game against Holbeach United.

On the one hand, the manager was annoyed with his team's first half performance in their United Counties League Premier Division opener - on the other, he was delighted with the way the team played in the second half.

"Desborough was a tough place to go to for the first game of the season," he said. "It was important not to lose there so if you had offered me a 1-1 draw before the game I would probably have snapped your hand off.

"It was important not to get beaten and in the first half we were pretty bad but we changed the formation for the second half and things improved. We were much better and we had some great chances to win it."

At the break, after going into the game with high expectations, Huntingdon were 1-0 down courtesy of a Luke Churchill goal. The Hunts squad has been strengthened over the summer with Pat Bexfield, Mark Cox and Mike Hyem all signing on.

But it was one of the best players of last season, Declan Rogers, who scored the equaliser from the penalty spot in the 47th minute after Ben Seymour-Shove had been fouled in the area. From then on it was Huntingdon who were in the ascendency.

"We were really good after we changed the formation," said Marheineke. "We played with the right tempo and moved the ball forward well - but we had three opportunities to win it and we didn't take the shots."

Right back Ollie Medwynter did get the ball in the back of the Desborough net in the second half but the referee disallowed what looked like a perfectly good goal for offside.

With five minutes to go Cox missed a volley and with it the last chance for the three points.

But the manager wouldn't criticise his team, saying: "They showed great character in the second half - we were rusty and disjointed in the first but to go from that, from so bad to so good, shows real possibilities for this team."

Tonight Huntingdon are at home to Holbeach United - another really tough game for the team. Holbeach are the title holders and now have the former Aston Villa striker Julian Joachim in their ranks. He scored on his debut for the Tigers on Saturday when they beat Harborough Town at home 3-2.

Then, on Saturday, Fakenham Town of the Eastern Counties League will visit Jubilee Park in the FA Cup.

Huntingdon (4-3-3): Tim Trebes, Ryan Spencer, Mark Cox, Charlie De'ath, Ollie Medwynter, Pat Bexfield (Curtis Fulcher), Mike Hyem, Jamie Graham (Steve Owens), Declan Rogers, Stuart Eason, Ben Seymour-Shove (Niks Savalneiks).