Dennis Greene refused to be downbeat despite his Boston United side’s opening-day defeat to Stalybridge Celtic.
In fact, the Pilgrims boss described the performance of substitute striker Waide Fairhurst as a huge bonus.
The former Macclesfield forward saw two golden opportunities fly inches over the bar while a tight-angled effort was tipped wide.
But Greene believes there is more to come: “The biggest plus for me was Waide Fairhurst coming on.
“He’s looked like he couldn’t hit a barn door in pre-season.
“I signed him to be our new Dayle Southwell and he’s done nothing in pre-season, and I’ve told him that.
“But this week in training he’s looked really sharp and when he came on today he could have had a hat-trick, he made chances out of nothing.
“He had good opportunities and that was a real plus, him coming on and doing well.”
Fairhurst missed chunks of last season with FC Halifax and Torquay due to injury, and Greene believes his summer arrival may just be returning to top form.
He added: “It might be he’s a bit behind as he had an injury at Halifax.
“Maybe he hasn’t been able to do the work he wanted to this summer.
“His last week of training was excellent, how I wanted him to be. If he performs like that again we’ll have a goalscorer.”
Andy Owen’s 16th-minute goal settled the contest in which Boston dominated but couldn’t net.
Lamin Colley’s weak penalty will give him reason to stay up tonight, the best chance of plenty in a game where Celtic’s Aaron Chalmers was sent off early in the second half for his second bookable offence.
But despite the result, Greene believes his new-look team showed glimpses of a bright future.
“He stepped up to take it, he’s a striker and he’s got the confidence to pick the ball up,” Greene said, reflecting upon that spot kick.
“You just hope he rams it into the back of the net.
“If he sends him the wrong way it’s a great pen, that’s the way it goes.
“It’s disappointing he didn’t score the penalty, but that was an encouraging performance for the opening day of the season.
“We played some nice football and passed it out from the back, there were some good signs.”