Huntingdon Town manager Jimmy Brattan hailed a terrific upturn in performance after picking up the first point of his second spell in charge.
Town drew 1-1 at Bourne Town in United Counties League Division One last Saturday when only the woodwork and goal-line clearances denied them a deserved victory.
Ben Keating put Brattan’s new-look side ahead with a first-half free-kick which flashed through a crowded penalty area and nestled in the net. It was the one-time Welsh Under 16 international’s first goal since a recent return to the club from Raunds.
They were pegged back early in the second half but then finished the game in the ascendancy after their hosts were reduced to 10 men.
Keating and Glenn Spearink both hit the post while Spearink and debutant substitute Lee Defraine were denied late winners by fine defensive clearances.
“The performance we produced at Bourne was a complete turnaround compared to the previous game against Long Buckby,” said Brattan. “Everyone worked really hard for the cause on and off the ball.
“The boys hadn’t even trained together due to signings coming in during the week and other players leaving so that made it even more pleasing.
“Bourne initially looked the more likely team to score after going down to 10 men, but then we gradually managed to make the most of our extra man.
“On another day we would have had three or four goals in the final 15 minutes, but the woodwork and a couple of great clearances kept us out.
“I’m gradually putting together the squad I want and a bit more depth is still required in key positions.”
Striker Corey Kingston, the club’s leading scorer last season, returned to the Town ranks at Bourne after signing from higher-level Peterborough Northern Star.
Defender Callum Walter was another familiar face back in a Huntingdon shirt after rejoining from Raunds while two other newcomers operated in midfield.
Dylan Maphosa made a pleasing first-team debut after stepping up from the club’s reserve side and Adam Richardson has stepped up a level from Peterborough & District League side Langtoft.
Brattan turned to his work boss, veteran midfielder Ian McIntosh, to help out due to a shortage of players. He featured on the bench along with Defraine, a Peterborough-based striker who has been out of the game for a couple of years, also made his debut as a substitute.
Huntingdon host Holwell Sports at Jubilee Park this Saturday, 3pm.