New manager Matt Clements was heartened by what he saw from St Neots Town during a losing start to 2017.
Clements had a watching brief as Saints went down to a solitary goal at Dunstable yesterday to extend their win-less run to 11 matches in all competitions. It was also a fourth successive blank for a team who have suddenly found goals hard to come by.
But their latest setback was certainly not without positives as Saints were thwarted by the crossbar and three goal-line clearances.
On-loan Leyton Orient youngster Sam Alderson came closest to a breakthrough in a blank opening period when beating home keeper Jamie Head, but not defender Gedeon Okita.
The decisive goal came from Dunstable man Vences Bola three minutes after half-time, but it was the cue for a spirited response from Saints, under the interim guidance of Lee Clarke for the final time.
Peter Clark and Declan Rogers were both denied equalisers by fine clearances from Dunstable defender Adam Pepara before debutant Jevani Brown fired against the woodwork with Rogers guiding the rebound wide.
Clements said: “I came away from the Dunstable game feeling very positive.
“The lads could count themselves very unlucky not to win the game 3-1 or 4-1.
“They defended very well and had plenty of attacking threat. They created plenty of chances and on another day would have picked up the three points.
“I was impressed with what I saw from the players on the pitch. It is a clean slate as far as I’m concerned, and I certainly don’t want to see anyone else heading out of the door.
“It is obvious we need to strengthen the squad. The aim is to add some experience and quality to give everyone a boost, and I’m relishing the challenge ahead.”
Clements will take charge for the first time against Weymouth this Saturday – the first of four home clashes during a pivotal month in Saints’ survival bid.
They remain two points from safety.