Dennis Greene reiterated that his Boston United squad still have the stomach for a fight - following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Stalybridge Celtic.
On a day when not one of the Vanarama North’s top five mustered a victory between them, the Pilgrims boss ruled out nerves having any part in his side’s stalemate.
“The top two have got the jitters, it looks as if everyone else has got the jitters,” said Greene after leaders Barrow were beaten at Brackley and title challengers AFC Fylde conceded a last-gasp goal to draw at home with Solihull Moors.
“We haven’t got the jitters, we just mised our chances.”
And Greene wasn’t wrong with that last statement.
Scott Garner got the Pilgrims off to a dream start with a goal after just 57 seconds, and the Pilgrims created enough opportunities to have victory wrapped up within the opening 10 minutes.
However, it was the hosts - scrapping for their lives but looking a lot more resilient under new manager Liam Watson - who grabbed the game’s second and final goal through Michael Powell.
“It was a dream start and we were on the front foot for the whole of the first half, couldn’t really have played any better,” said an upbeat Greene, who still had plenty of praise for striker Dayle Southwell, despite his name not appearing on the scoresheet.
“We just couldn’t get that second goal.
“(Dayle) said he could have had three or four today, but I said ‘don’t worry about that kid, you’re the one who’s put us in this position’.
“Today wasn’t his day - on another occasion he’d go home with the match ball.”
A break down the left wing saw Garner connect with Nicky Walker’s cross and beat Celtic keeper Ross Etheridge at his near post with a diving header in the first minute.
And Boston’s early tempo saw the hosts truly on the back foot.
Kaine Felix saw his header rebound off the crossbar while Southwell saw an effort tipped wide by Etheridge, before a vital Peter Wylie clearance to deny the 27-goal forward a routine finish.
When Southwell got the better of Etheridge with a header his effort was blocked on the goalline, with referee Paul Marsden waving away claims that it struck Harley Wigley on the arm.
After the break it was more of the same from United, but Etheridge denied Marc Newsham and Garner couldn’t get enough purchase on the ball from close range.
Celtic had threatened through Aidan Chipperfield’s cheeky free kick and a number of dead balls which the United defence managed to clear.
However, Stalybridge hadn’t won three of their previous four matches by giving up, and Powell volleyed them level in the 69th minute following a corner.
With time running out Boston turned the screw but Rene Steer’s 20-yarder and Southwell’s late header just couldn’t find the net.