Kyle Dixon believes that Boston United’s half-term report contains plenty of optimism - but there’s still room for improvement.
Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Alfreton Town saw the Pilgrims complete their 21st game in the National League North - the halfway point of the campaign - in sixth place, level on points with Harrogate who sit in the final play-off spot.
Although teams around United all have games in hand, Dixon believes that a good winning run and rivals taking points off one another over the busy Christmas period could see Dennis Greene’s side challenging for promotion yet again.
“We’ve still got a chance,” the midfielder said.
“We’ve not won as many games as we would have liked this season, we wanted to kick on on and have a few more points, but we’re in a decent position.”
Dixon did point out that his side can’t afford to keep losing matches - they already have eight defeats this season compared to 10 throughout the previous campaign - but is adamant promotion remains the target.
“We’ve lost nearly as many games as we did all last year, but hopefully now we can go on a long run,” added the former Notts County man, who believes a united dressing room can hand his side the advantage.
“We’re still a force to be reckoned with.
“We’re all together, you’ll never get a divided dressing room here. That breeds from everyone, from the straff to the players and it’s a real good changing room to be part of.”
Saturday’s victory at the Impact Arena came cortesy of two Jordan Blinco finishes.
The on-loan Sunderland teenager opened his account in senior football in style.
His first arrived just 52 seconds after kick off when Dayle Southwell reached the byline and cut back a low driven cross which caused panic in the Reds’ penalty area before Blinco found the net with the telling touch just yards out.
His second, in the 61st minute was a touch of class.
The winger collected an attempted clearance on his chest before beating Matt Duke with a low volley executed close to the edge of the penalty area.
In between those goals, Boston had further opportunities to extend their lead.
John Sands got the final touch on Zak Mills’ long throw, but his tight-angled drive smashed against Duke’s near post, while Grant Roberts drilled a 25-yarder wide of the mark.
Southwell also had chances but a powerful run ended with an effort sailing over the bar, while Duke denied him with a firm block after the break.
Substitute Kaine Felix also brought the best out in Duke, but should have been awarded a penalty after twice being tugged back as he charged down on goal.
Although Boston were bossing the contest, Alfreton also had their chances.
Henrich Ravas had to hold on to Sam Smith’s header and got down to smother Jordan Robertson’s goalbound effort at the second attempt.
Tom Allan found the side netting before pressure paid off in the 81st minute as Joe Ironside forced home from close range after a Town corner had already caused havoc, Ravas making a close-range save and the ball striking the post.
This conjured up a nervy final few minutes as the big Alfreton side bombarded the Boston box with long balls.
However, Ironside was wasteful with a header which he placed off target and Jamie Jackson saw a low strike fly off target as United held on for a deserved victory.