Wimbledon Hockey Club’s player/coach Ben Marsden was in philosophical mood after a pulsating 4-4 draw against Surbiton heralded the resumption of their MHL Premier Division campaign.
The draw keeps the Dons fifth in the table, two points behind Surbiton who hold the final European play-off berth.
Despite leading Surbiton 4-2 with 10 minutes remaining, Marsden’s men lost their discipline when Phil Ball and Chris Gregg were shown yellow cards, and they lost the points as the visitors battled back.
But Marsden insists he will take the positives into a tough two weekends of competition against title hopefuls Reading and East Grinstead.
“It was a good game of hockey for the supporters, but not necessarily for us,” he said.
“We felt disappointed at the end to be 4-2 up with 10 minutes to go and concede two late goals. We should have held on to it, but poor discipline let us down.”
He added: “The cards were probably justified, I am not too worried about the umpiring, I was just pleased with the way we played.
“It means we can go into our remaining six games with real positives, and if we hold our own and continue to play how we’re playing, take our chances and defend well, you never know.
“Surbiton could slip up. We might make it into the top four which would be our dream result.”
Wimbledon have not played outside since the winter break kicked in on December 1 – but Marsden revealed the secret behind hitting the ground running.
He said: “The indoor has been great for us in keeping our momentum and that is something we have not had in previous years. We had about 19 players in that, so there was good rotation.
“We had great friendly games against Beeston and Reading, so we have played top teams, and I felt we got the post-Christmas pre-season right this time round.”
He added: “Ahead of the Surbiton game, the guys were firing, and there were some disappointing people after the match.
“But if someone had offered 4-4 before the game, we would probably have taken it. Let’s see what we get out of the next fixtures, but at least we’re looking up and not down.”
Wimbledon go to second-placed Reading this weekend.