Belper Town suffered a delayed reaction to Friday 13th as they conceded an equaliser with the final kick of the game against Whitby Town on Saturday afternoon.
Two goals from Michael Towey and a goal from Jon Froggatt were not enough to take all three points as a last-gasp goal for the home side ensured Belper Town would go home the unhappier of the two sides.
But boss Jimmy Albans was positive despite only earning a point and said his side have come a long way to approaching the level of quality he expects.
“If you look at the performance on Saturday compared to the level of performance that was on show when I first took over, it is a completely different dimension, hunger and desire,” he said.
“That is no disrespect to Peter Duffield or Jon Froggatt, but the fact of the matter is we are a better team now.
“If you look at all the players who have left the club since I came in, other than one player, they’ve all taken a step or two down the leagues, and that is the reality of the team then and now.
“I thought we started the game well, but we’ve made a habit of doing that, which is great for us.
“The difference between yesterday and every other game we’ve played, is that we played very well for 90 minutes against Whitby, whereas we’ve struggled in the last 20 minutes of other games we’ve played in.
“I said in the dressing room after that given another months work, we would have won that game.
“The reality is, a lot of the players who played yesterday have only played once or twice for the club, and they always need a few games to get to their best.
“So had this game been a little later on, then we would have won it.”
Albans praised the energy levels and commitment of the players in the game, who gave their everything until the final whistle.
“If you look at players like Paul Grimes, Ben Turner and Paul Lister and so on, they were chasing every ball with two minutes to go.
“This is the desire we need, and that takes match fitness both physically and mentally to achieve that.
“I’ve heard supporters ask if Michael Towey was with me at Grantham, and questioning whether he was getting a game.
“Well I can assure you that he is a fantastic player and he showed that yesterday with two goals and a top performance all-round.”
“I like to keep a consistent team, not to change things time and time again, but we’ve had to change a lot of things since we came in, so we’re only just starting to get a familiar team out.”
“I can promise the supporters that we will get better and better as the games go on.”
Albans revealed that Chris Jones and Aaron Pride have left the club for now, having moved on to other clubs.
“Chris told me he couldn’t commit to training and the travelling, and Aaron told me he was leaving.
“In my teams, when a player crosses the white line they need to give 100% and commitment.
“If they can’t achieve that, than they can’t be part of my team.
“That is no disrespect to those two boys, as they are great guys, but I need to think about the football club first and foremost.”