Mickey Stones admitted Horncastle Town were ‘quite happy’ with their narrow defeat to cup final rivals Brigg Town CIC on Saturday.
Charlie Dolling’s goal proved the difference as the Lincs League highfliers picked up three points at The Hawthorns to leave them five points behind leaders Lincoln Moorlands Railway.
But as the two sides prepare to meet again this Friday in the Mason Bros Lincs Junior Cup final, manager Stones knows his side haven’t been dealt a blow to their confidence.
“We came away quite happy really, to be honest, if you consider the circumstances,” Stones told The News.
“To play them a week before a cup final isn’t ideal, especially with eight players missing. We had seven players over 30 and two 16-year-old playing.
“Defensively we managed to keep them down to a few chances, and we had four good chances oursleves, including hitting the woodwork twice.”
Steve Lovett’s 35-yard half volley and an effort from Chris Johnson both rattled the goal frame.
Nathan Rawdon blazed a one-on-one over and Michael Harness saw a late chance saved as the Wongers still look to rediscover their scoring touch.
But with a makeshift side put out, Stones believes the Zebras - who Town last faced on the opening day of the campaign - haven’t learnt too much about their opponents ahead of Friday’s fixture.
Stones also gave the thumbs up to teenage debutant Josh Kisby, wo has previously turned out for the side’s under 16s and been on the books of Grimsby Town.
“He made his debut for us and did really well,” Stones added.
“He played centre midfield with Lovett and looked very glood, to be fair.
“He provided two assists for our chances.”