Pinchbeck United returned to action with back-to-back 2-0 defeats, but manager Lewis Thorogood says he’s seen plenty of positives.
On Saturday they were defeated by Harborough Town through Callum Milne and Ben Williams goals, in the opening fixtures of the Kingfisher Lighting Premier Division Cup.
And that was followed up with a friendly loss at home to Wisbech Town on Tuesday night, Eoin McQuaid and Liam Adams with the goals.
In both fixtures Pinchbeck conceded late goals, but Thorogood says the two performances were completely different and the midweek showing against an established step four side was why he’s so hopeful going into Saturday’s Kingfisher Cup fixture at home to Rothwell Corinthians (12.30pm kick off).
“On Saturday we were defensively strong and Ben Martin in goal was fantastic,” he said. “At half time it was 0-0 and we were in the game but we weren’t able to create enough up top.
“Harborough are a good side and even the subs they brought on were big, physical and strong.
“They’re a side building an identity to challenge for the league next season.
“Even then, the first goal was an individual error.
“I was disappointed we didn’t have an identity and nothing stuck up front.
“Tuesday night was about working on something going forward, working on our identity and starting to change the dynamics of what we do against seasoned step four players.
“I knew it was going to be difficult, but it was 10 times better than Saturday.
“We played about 70 to 80 per cent more football and created more.
“Both goals were individual mistakes again, but in the second half we really gave it a go, I think had three one-on-ones which we didn’t put away and a great chance over the bar. We played with an identity and it was also more minutes in the bank.
“It gives us something to build on for Saturday and if we can cut out the individual mistakes and work on the creativity it gives us an opportunity going forward.”
Meanwhile Alfie Tate has announced he’s resigned from the assistant manager’s role at the Knights.
In a statement released on Tuesday he said: “Unfortunately the decision had been coming for a little while and with the emotional attachment, time and effort I had put into the club, it made it difficult for me to finally come to the decision that I have done.
“Over the last few months its been a frustrating period for me considering everything I’ve given for the club but I don’t intend on dwelling on that as at the same time, I got to experience my first chance of senior management throughout pre-season and the early stages of the season despite complications during that time.
“That period was easily the most stressful but enjoyable time I’ve had in football where I had the backing of the players and volunteers at the club and has given me the hunger and desire to go and get myself into management position in the short-term future. Within that time, I obviously achieved a great landmark in becoming the FA Cup’s youngest ever manager and featuring on Sky Sports News which will forever stay with me.
“The last nine months or so have been a great learning experience for me and lessons I’ll take on to future roles.
“I’m obviously disappointed that things haven’t worked out at Pinchbeck but I have to make the selfish decision of doing what’s best for me and my career and I know I will go on to bigger and better things.”
Thorogood said: “Alfie gave his all at Pinchbeck and his work is greatly appreciated.
“Hopefully he’s gained some valuable experience in terms of different roles at the club that puts him in a stronger position for his next role.
“We wish him all the best for the future.”
While fans are currently not allowed to attend fixtures, Pinchbeck games are being broadcast on radio. More details are on the club’s social media channels.