IT was with some hope in our hearts that we settled down to watch on iFollow to see if the Wanderers could build on Tuesday night’s encouraging comeback against Barrow and lift the gloom surrounding Greater Manchester’s ‘promotion’ to Tier 3 lockdown restrictions.

We were facing the league leaders, Cambridge United, who are scoring goals for fun at the moment. No problems there then for our hitherto shaky defence to cope with.

There was a sad reminder of the ugly, unacceptable side of football, when a minute’s silence was held in respect of Simon Cobbin, a Cambridge fan who passed away this week, five years after a savage attack at Southend. Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends.

Ian Evatt made a couple of changes with Andrew Tutte coming in for Brandon Comley and Nathan Delfouneso returning after becoming a new dad.

We started well and looked well organised, particularly in defence, making the league’s most potent attack look sterile and not likely to score until the unfortunate goalkeeping error.

The important thing was our heads did not go down, we continued to fight and, in the end, got a well-deserved equaliser. Most observers would say that we should have won this match.

The most pleasing aspect of our performance was we took the blows of a dubiously disallowed goal and the loss of our key striker and did it, in what is rapidly becoming, our way.

In the past week, we have found some guts and fighting spirit, which are key ingredients to a successful future. We are going to have to battle for every single point this season and beyond. This team is beginning to take shape and characters are emerging like Antoni Sarcevic, our captain leading from the front.

We have still got lots to work on as should always be the case in modern football, but the signs are encouraging. Not all of our 20 new signings will be up for the job and Ian Evatt has rightly challenged them all to prove that they are.

Now we must build on this week’s performances and start winning, particularly at home. Tuesday night will be a good test of our improvement against Bradford City, a team we have already lost to this season.

Elsewhere, respect must go to Marcus Rashford for his free meals during school holidays campaign and to the Whites Hotel for their support.