Worksop Town assistant manager Wayne Thompson was pleased with the Tigers’ response in their final pre-season friendly.
After a poor performance in a 3-2 win at Retford, the Tigers lost 3-1 to Northern Premier League Gainsborough Trinity.
But Thompson, who had been critical at Retford, where Worksop fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 late on, said the performance was much imroved.
“It was chalk and cheese from Retford,” he said. “The commitment, effort and quality were 100% better all round.
“Gainsborough are up where they are and we gave them a real game.
“In the first 45 minutes we took our time to find our feet.
“All three goals were, not dubious, but there were mistakes from us for the first and the third.
“The penalty, in my eyes anyway, was a bit (iffy). The lad has fallen over and didn’t know where his hands were.
“But in the second half we more than matched them — energy wise and quality wise.
“Our movement was really good and I was impressed.”
Thompson was pleased with the way Worksop grew into the game, their final summer friendly.
“We seem to relish, and I don’t want to be disrespectful, but the higher the opposition we seem to be better ourselves,” Thompson added.
“It took us a while to get into our stride, but after that some of the football we played was realy good.
“We defended solidly and looked dangerous all game, even (in the) first half.
Keeper David Reay made a good early save, getting down low to block a drive from Ashley Worsfold.
But within the opening 27 minutes Gainsborough were 2-0 ahead.
First Simon Russell curled in a fine finish before Worsfold doubled the advantage, smashing home from the penalty spot after he forced a Worksop defender to handle under pressure.
Lynton Karkach, a former Gainsborough player, dragged an effort wide of the upright as Worksop threatened.
But they were kept out by their former young keeper Callum Fielding, who was a popular member of Worksop’s Under-19 set-up.
Worksop forward, Matty Templeton, an ex-loan man for the Holy Blues, was involved in much of Worksop’s good build up, linking well with roving left back Niall Smith.
Worksop deservedly got one back around the hour mark when Templeton crossed for Karkach to stoop low, heading past Fielding.
The keeper denied Karkach an equaliser with a low stop before, five minutes from time, a mix-up in the Worksop defence allowed Harry Middleton to score from just a yard inside his own half as his effort sailed over the back-pedalling Reay.
Worksop Town: David Reay, Deegan Atherton, Niall Smith, Steve Woolley, Steve Wankiewicz, Ben Rhodes, Lynton Karkach, Jed Phillips, Craig Mitchell, Andrew Gascoigne, Matty Templeton.