Bamber Bridge can take a huge amount of positives despite a bank holiday weekend which saw them collect just a single point from two games.
That is the view of manager Neil Reynolds who watched his side produce a couple of sterling performances.
On Saturday, Brig suffered their first defeat of the campaign but not before going toe-to-toe with NPL First Division North leaders, and overwhelming favourites for the title, South Shields on their own patch.
The 1-0 loss to the Mariners was followed by a 2-2 draw at home to Colwyn Bay on Monday when they had to play the entire second half with 10 men and were only denied victory by a last-minute equaliser.
Reynolds said he was both frustrated and pleased by the weekend’s events, although his overriding feeling was one of pride.
“I was so proud on Saturday and Monday with how we played,” said Reynolds.
“To go to South Shields, who are the favourites for the title. We had no Brad Carsley, Stuart Vasey, Josh Heaton and Phil Doughty – so the squad was really stretched.
“But the way we applied ourselves – we played so well.
“If it hadn’t been for a dubious free-kick then we could have got something out of it because the game-plan was spot on.
“We were clapped off by their fans, our own fans, and their management team were really impressed by us.
“South Shields have the biggest budget in the division – and they are not hiding that fact. They have got a great set-up, fantastic stadium and are getting around 2,000 gates.
“They have won their first four league games of the season – Brighouse Town went there and lost 5-0, Bridlington lost 3-1. But not being disrespectful to them or Colwyn Bay, we have nothing to fear this season The two performances give us plenty of hope for the rest of the season.”
Monday’s game against Colwyn Bay hinged on the first-half red card shown to Adam Dodd with Brig leading 1-0.
The left-back was sent off for something he said to the referee after being denied what was in Reynolds eyes ‘a blatant free-kick’.
“I am not condoning what Adam said, but the lad has put two hands on his back and pushed him to the floor,” said Reynolds. “Everybody stopped, even the linesman, but the referee waved play on. Adam was wrong to say what he did but sometimes when you’re playing at a high tempo, frustrations boil over.”
Dodd will be available for this weekend’s FA Cup first qualifying round tie away to North West Counties outfit Ashton Athletic. Reynolds is also set to welcome back Carsley and Vasey to his squad.
“We are the favourites, they are a level below us,” Reynolds said. “Without putting too much pressure on ourselves, I am expecting us to be in the hat for the next round but we’re going to have to work hard.”