Buxton boss Martin McIntosh was delighted to see his patchwork side hold high-flying visitors Farsley Celtic to a 3-3 draw last weekend, despite squandering the lead three times.
And he has no worries about pitting his team against third-placed Grantham at The Silverlands on Saturday, whoever is available.
“I thought we performed really well against Farsley and should have won the game, having led three times,” said McIntosh
“But there were some really encouraging signs for me on Saturday against a team who were two or three places above us in the league.
“Obviously we were missing our captain and vice-captain, Greg Young and Ricky Ravenhill, and we had players playing out of position.
“Josh Meade came in, played at centre half and did excellent for us. But during the game we then had Joe McGee and Niall Doran injured. Those two coming off was probably the reason why we couldn’t hang on in all honesty.
“But I thought the players gave absolutely everything.
McIntosh knows Liam Hardy should have had at least a hat-trick and missed chances proved so costly as two points were spilled.
“Liam scored twice but missed three one-on-ones with the keeper,” he said.
“We had loads of chances to put the game to bed.
“When we’ve not scored them, two players have gone off injured and others are playing out of position, that’s why we’ve ended up drawing the match. It’s one of those things.
“I can’t fault the players as I thought they gave absolutely everything.
“I think the fans could see that and were delighted with how we played. We attacked and made loads of chances in an entertaining game.”
It gets no easier this Saturday when Grantham come to town. But McIntosh said: “I am happy to be playing Grantham rather than a team at the other end.
“We have lost to the two bottom teams in the league, Sutton and Rushall, but we managed to beat Warrington and draw with Farsley.
“We don’t have a problem with teams that are up there. It’s when we’ve not got a challenge in front of us that we don’t seem to do it.”
He added: “Things are looking up here – there’s no doubt about it.
“It would help if we could steer clear of injuries.
“I think Niall Doran is going to be out for a few weeks now with a knee injury. And we are going to gave to check on one or two others before the weekend.
“It might be that I have to get another one in on loan like I did last week.”
Buxton gave debuts to five reserve players, with another two on the bench, in Tuesday night’s 5-3 Integro League Cup defeat at home to Coalville Town.
Buxton were ahead with a Sam Smith penalty and young reserve forward Andrew Ramwell bagged a brace, but it was the more experienced Coalville side that went through in the end.