TOMMY LAWSON believes Skelmersdale United have shown they can make a big impact on the Evo-Stik Premier Division this year.
Skem have made a solid start to life in their new league, losing just once in their opening four matches.
It took a last-gasp equaliser from goalkeeper Zac Hibbert, up for a corner, to grab a draw at Marine on Monday, though most observers, including Mariners boss Phil Brazier, concurred that it was the visitors who had been the better side.
This week sees Skem travel to Droylsden, and Lawson says his young, developing side are well-set to show what they are made of in the coming weeks and months.
“I think if we look at the four games we have played, we could really have had four wins,” he said. “That's not me being one-eyed.
“I think these young lads are stepping up to the challenge. It is a more difficult league, it's more physical, but these are good players.
“At Marine on Monday, I thought we played tremendously well. We had a couple of decisions go against us, one when the ball was a good 18 inches over the line from Dale Wright and it wasn't given. That was disappointing, but I thought our performance was very good.”
He added: “It was a contrast in styles. Marine are very experienced and know what this level is all about. We are babies in comparison, but it was a terrific contest. Nobody who paid to watch it would have complained.
“What makes it even better is that we had a number of big players – Lewis Field, Tom Hardwick, Rob McIntosh – who couldn't play on Monday, so we dug in and still were the better side I felt.”
Lawson revealed he was still in the market for a striker, with Matty Hughes also likely to miss the trip to Droylsden through injury. Hardwick, McIntosh and Field are also rated as “doubtful”.
“It will be nice to go back to one of my old clubs, and go back on an even footing,” Lawson added. “I want to show off my team, my young lads, and show what we can do.
“We never go anywhere without confidence, so we are hopeful we can get a positive result at what is one of the better grounds at this level.”