Des Macorison says Harrogate Railway have laid a solid platform to build on after the Toolstation NCEL Division One opening day 1-1 draw with Campion.
Railway were just minutes away from beating last season’s runners-up at Station View until Andy McCreadie equalised.
It was a cruel finish for Railway, whose performance was one of their best for a long time, but new Railway manager Macorison agreed that Campion did deserve their point.
“I think the work-rate and the desire were second to none, I can’t fault any of them,” Macorison told Non League Yorkshire.
“They all put a shift in for each other and that’s what we want. I’m really proud of them.
“It was a game of two halves. I thought we were the better side footballing-wise. They started the second half really well and they overloaded us on the right-hand side which meant we had to change formation.
“When we changed formation we came back into it. The end was disappointing as I thought the lad who had the initial shot for their equaliser was a couple of yards offside, but I can’t take it away from them (Campion) as they had had plenty of chances.
“The lads are devastated as they feel it is like a loss, but to be fair Joe (Wilton) has pulled off some great saves and they hit the woodwork a couple of times so I think overall it was a fair result.
“It is a benchmark to where we need to be at as they finished second last season.
“We’ve lifted the doom and gloom and there’s a feel-good factor around the club now. The message to everyone now is Harrogate Railway is back.”
Marquee summer signing Joe Jagger burst on the NCEL scene with his eighth minute header.
Railway’s captain is expected to play a big role this season and Macorison, who remains very pleased with his squad, was happy with Jagger’s debut.
“It was great to see him get an early goal,” he said.
“First game, first goal and there’s more to come from him, I’m sure. Joe was probably 75% fit today as well, just like Toby Harris was.
“Simon Swales was injured at training so there were a few players playing with knocks. Then there’s Jordan Hendrie who is out, as well as Ryan Caulfield who is out too.
“But we have a good squad and lads were able to come in today.
“We know our strengths and weaknesses and we’re trying to get the lads well-drilled so we can compete in every game.
“We have started with the foundations and we have worked our way up. We have the right dressing room and the right set of lads.
“You could see today how much they work for each other.”