Oakham United boss Ryan Hunnings believes his side are heading in the right direction ahead of a crucial United Counties League clash this weekend.
United host fellow Division One strugglers Bugbrooke at Lonsdale Meadow on Saturday looking to close the gap on the visiting Badgers who are 11 points clear of second-from-bottom Oakham.
Bugbrooke were beaten by bottom-of-the-table S&L Corby last weekend and were also thumped 6-0 by Bourne Town the previous Saturday.
Oakham go into the clash buoyed by a gallant effort against Hunnings’ former club Huntingdon Town on Saturday.
Despite having Stewart Lambie red-carded in the first half for a reckless tackle, Oakham more than held their own in the 4-2 defeat.
Hunnings said: “I was very proud of the lads.
“They never gave up and it showed we’re moving in the right direction.”
Oakham fell behind after 14 minutes of Saturday’s clash when Glenn Spearink steered Huntingdon into the lead.
The visitors got back onto level terms soon after, but parity didn’t last long as Corey Kingston put Huntingdon back in front.
Kingston increased Huntingdon’s advantage five minutes ahead of half-time before Lambie was dismissed for his tackle on Jamie Waterworth who taken to hospital with a knee injury.
Despite being a man down, Oakham refused to roll over after the break and, after some resolute work in defence, they reduced the arrears again.
Oakham then came close to grabbing an equaliser, but home goalkeeper Quincy Shorunmu made a crucial save while another opening was headed over.
Huntingdon made the most of the let off by adding their fourth late on as Kingston completed his hat-trick haul.