03:00PM, Friday 25 January 2019
Saturday’s last gasp defeat to Solihull Moors ‘hurt like hell’ for assistant Sam Lock, but he’s keen for the side to take positives from the display and believes the Magpies will start moving up the table in the coming weeks.
For 90 minutes on Saturday the Magpies matched up well to a Moors side who’ve moved second in the table, level on points with leaders Leyton Orient. And Lock says they go to Wrexham on Saturday knowing they can now compete with the best sides in the division.
“We looked a very good team today,” he said. “No one wants to lose a game of football but when the performance is that good there’s a lot of positives to take out of it.
“But not only that, it’s nice for the fans to see us be competitive for the whole game.
“We looked very good and it gives us something to look forward to going into the Wrexham game.
“We go there knowing we can compete. I’m excited for the next few games and hopefully we can start picking up a few points and moving up the table.”
United came into Saturday’s game against Moors off the back of two straight away wins and that confidence shone through as they bossed proceedings in the first half. They should have led through captain Alan Massey’s stunning volley which struck the inside of the post and had several other chances to add to the penalty scored by Adrian Clifton late in the half.
“The players gave it everything today,” said Lock. “And I think it shows how far we’ve come since the turn of the year, to go toe-to-toe with the most in-form team in the league.
“I’m totally gutted for the boys because I thought we were the better team today.
“At minimum we deserved a point so to lose in injury time like we did hurt like hell.
“They brought on Yusuff and Hylton in the second half, they’re phenomenal players, but we don’t have the options to do that.
“So we sat in and tried to hold on to what we had.
“With maybe five, 10 minutes to go we became a little more cautious, but we almost scored with an overhead kick (through Adrian Clifton) before conceding 10 seconds later.
“It hurts, it really does, but there were a lot of positives to take from that.”
Lock also addressed the side’s concerning home form which he hopes they’ll improve on between now and the end of the season.
“It seems to be that we play all the top teams at home, over and over again,” he said.
“Our away record is play-off places, our home record is bottom three.
“But we’ve played all the top sides at home now so hopefully we can start kicking on now.
“There are some good sides in this league but today we can pick out what we’ve done well and take that into the game at Wrexham on Saturday.”
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