Chris Plummer felt Corby Town deserved more than they got as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Blue Square Bet North play-off contenders Altrincham.
The Steelmen turned in a vastly-improved display following 6-1 and 5-1 league defeats to Harrogate Town and FC Halifax Town respectively.
But they were undone as the division’s top scorer Damian Reeves and then a brilliant solo goal from Duncan Watmore won it for the hosts.
In between, Ryan Semple equalised and then saw a header tipped onto the bar while Jason Crowe also hit the post before Watmore’s winner.
And the Steelmen also dominated possession after the break without ever really troubling the home defence.
But the overall display left Plummer delighted, despite the defeat seeing his team drop to 18th place although they are still eight points clear of the relegation zone.
“It was exactly what we needed after the two heavy defeats,” the Corby boss said.
“The performance was excellent, I couldn’t fault it. I am a bit disappointed with the two goals we have given away.
“One was a very good individual goal but it was a poor one from our point of view. But he (Watmore) looks quite a special talent.
“Overall, our performance was excellent and we didn’t get anything for our efforts. I thought the least we deserved was a draw.
“From one to 11 we did really well and even the lads who came on did well for us.
“Avelino Vieira had to come on early and I think that is the best he has played for a long time, he held the ball up for us.
“I thought Sam Ives did well at right-back. I am sure that would have surprised a few people to see him playing there but he did very well.
“They started really well and we managed to get on top of them. I am proud of the lads, I am just disappointed we have lost a bit of ground in the league.
“But having been beaten heavily in the two previous matches, I have to be happy with the response.”
One worrying sight for the Steelmen was that of recent signing Francis Green leaving on crutches after he was replaced by Vieira just 10 minutes into the game at Moss Lane.
Plummer added: “Francis had a broken leg eight or nine weeks ago, he has taken a blow in a similar place but we are not sure what damage has been done.
“He saw a doctor at Altrincham and we will get it assessed. Hopefully it is not too serious but we really don’t know just yet.”
Another new signing, Michael Bryan, who signed from Daventry Town on Friday evening, came on as a second-half substitute and, along with Josh Moreman, helped Corby push for the elusive equaliser.
“I think all the lads who played did well,” Plummer said.
“Michael is a tidy player and, aside from his first touch where he gave the ball away, I don’t think he gave it away after that.
“But Josh came on and made a difference as well. We need that competition for places.”