“We will take the positives,” said Oakham United’s joint boss Andy Saddington after his team drew 1-1 at home to Stilton United on Saturday.
Skipper Eddie McDonald put Oakham ahead with a crisp strike from the edge of the penalty area midway through the first half.
And although Oakham allowed the visitors back on level terms they did address two of the fundamental problems that have dogged them this season - discipline and spot kicks.
“We did not give away a penalty or get a booking,” said Saddington whose side have endured a stream of penalties against them and a sprinkling of red cards as their excellent early season form has slipped.
“It was a bit disappointing not to win the match,” added the Oakham boss. “But we will take the positives.
“We set out not to concede and they had one attack in the second half. It was just a long ball and out centre half slipped which let their forward through.”
On another day Oakham would have been well ahead by that point.
Will Lee had a shot cleared off the line and Alex Brockbank’s header had come back off a post before McDonald scored, and their were further chances as the game progressed.
Saddington, whose side was beaten 6-1 at Netherton a week earlier, added: “It was a lot better all round.
“When we went 10 games unbeaten we were able to pick from the same 13 or 14 players and that was a major factor.
“Then we had some unavailable and it knocked us out of our stride. The main thing now is to get consistency and hopefully this went some way to getting back on track.
“The lads that came in have done a good job but people need to play together to know their responsibilities. When you have one or two missing you can cope but to have four or five out each week is too much. .”
Anthony Wells, signed from Stamford Bels, made his debut after several weeks out of action but Oakham were still missing regulars Robbie Dance, Craig Welbourn, Stu Lambie and top scorer Nathan Arkle.
Oakham have no match on Saturday regardless of the weather. Their next league fixture is scheduled for January 26 when Crowland Town are due to visit.
Oakham (v Stilton): Shane Hicks, Tom Bain, Ben Cox, Jamie Forbes, Natahn Bottomley, Steve Smith, Eddie McDonald, Alex Brockbank, Anthony Wells (Luke Palmer), Will Lee, Jamie Twose (Richard Nelson).