Steve Kinniburgh felt Corby Town’s 1-1 draw at Cambridge City on the opening day of the Evo-Stik South League Division One Central season was “a fair result”.
The Steelmen made a slow start with Josh Oyinsan giving the hosts the lead inside the first 20 minutes.
But Corby produced an improved second-half display and, after Cambridge had seen Salim Relizani sent-off for a second bookable offence, they grabbed a late equaliser thanks to Elliot Sandy.
And boss Kinniburgh thought his team well worth a share of the spoils.
“It was a really slow start, I think we were still in friendly mode for the first 35 minutes,” the Steelmen boss said.
“We were well off the pace but for the last 10 minutes of the first half I thought we did well, we started to move the ball and we had a couple of decent chances.
“We were a bit naive in certain areas of the pitch where some of the lads have not played at this level very much and they have got to learn.
“We have to trust them that they will get there. The quality of this league isn’t always great but the demands are very high.
“It’s a tough old competition on that pitch and our players didn’t seem to be at it at points.
“But we came out in the second half and we were a lot better, we looked like the team we have been over pre-season.
“They had the man sent-off but it didn’t change too much for them because they were sitting in anyway.
“We had chance after chance and eventually we managed to take one and, looking at the overall game, a point each was probably a fair result.”
Corby will now be hoping to build on that draw when they return to Steel Park for their first home game of the season against Sutton Coldfield Town on Wednesday night.
“I’m delighted to get back into the competitive football and I think the boys are as well,” Kinniburgh added.
“The games mean something now. The boys are up for it, the atmosphere is positive.
“And we will be back at Steel Park on the back of what I think is a positive result.”