Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law had plenty of positives from a 2-0 home defeat against Championship new boys Rotherham United on Tuesday evening.
He said: “I think it flattered them slightly, the second goal at the death, but it was a good performance (from us).
“We looked solid, especially first half. We had a good shape about us and I think on a whole, we did well and it was an improved performance which gives us hope for the seasons coming up.
“I think defensively we looked very good.
The Reds boss thought the only real difference between the sides was the movement of proven Rotherham strikers Matt Derbyshire and Alex Revell.
“Derbyshire and Revell will cause problems at the level they are playing at this year and I thought we did well,” enthused the Reds boss.
“The first goal we are slightly disappointed. Chris (Smith) has just got to deal with it and sort it from there and we haven’t and Matt Derbyshire has got goals like that for a long time which is why he is playing at the level he is.
“But overall, it was another improved performance again. I think we looked stronger, we looked fitter, and playing against teams from our own level, I think things would have been a lot better tonight.
“It is always difficult when you are playing against the quality of opposition we did today (Tuesday) and I am really pleased with our efforts”.
Law expressed his pleasure at Anthony Howell returning to the club on a one-year deal ahead of the 2014/15 Conference Premier season.
Howell recently left Mansfield Town after two seasons with the Stags in which he helped them to the Conference Premier Division title in the 2012/13 campaign.
The 28-year-old is primarily a central midfield player but can also operate as a striker or winger. Howell was previously with Alfreton for two-and-a-half seasons, helping the club win the Conference North title in the 2010/11 campaign, and is manager Law’s 11th new signing of the summer.
“I am delighted,” added Law. “I think he has come back and showed what a good player he is, what an asset he will be and I think he has put in a good performance.
“He knows the club, he knows the people, what is expected of him, and I think that is right up his street. He will give us another dimension.”
This Friday, Alfreton are at home to Conference North club Solihull Moors. Kick-off at the Impact Arena is 7.45pm.