THEY may have missed the chance to close up on the title favourites, but Willand Rovers player-manager Scott Rogers felt there were plenty of positives to take from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Bristol Manor Farm.

James Blake’s close-range finish late in the game saw Rovers salvage a draw, having fallen behind to an opener from the visitors just after the hour-mark at Silver Street.

But Rogers feels that the hosts, who managed to hit the woodwork both before and after their goal, proved themselves to be more than a match for the much-fancied Bristol outfit. “I think that most in attendance thought that we were the better team and could have won, but we didn’t really take our chances,” he said. “They were very, very good but I thought we were comfortably the better side on the day and deserved at least a draw.

“Considering we were 1-0 down with about eight minutes to go, I was definitely happy with a draw.

“We had some really good chances on the day. Their goal led a charmed life, but that is football and it happens sometimes – luck evens itself out over the course of the season.

“We would like to have won but it was one of those games which it was more important not to lose. We still have three games in hand over them and are six points behind.”

The draw does leave Rovers six points from Bristol Manor Farm in the table, although Melksham Town have capitalised on the stalemate to move a point clear at the top of the standings with a 1-0 win over Sherborne Town.

Kurtis Parkin had to be on his toes early on for Willand in Saturday’s contest to deny Jordan Metters, before both Rogers and Blake saw efforts cleared off the line.

The visitors made the most of a defensive mix-up to take the lead, before Shane Kingston saw his effort cannon off the bar as Rovers searched for an equaliser.

With time running out, Lewis Tasker crossed for Blake to level, and there was still time for Luke Alden’s shot to come back off the post as they hunted for a winner.

“That result will give us confidence and sets us up really well for the second half of the season,” said Rogers, whose side visit Odd Down on Saturday.

“We know that we can go toe-to-toe with one of the better sides in the division and that will give us confidence. If you want to win the league, it is important to beat the teams at the bottom of the table and not lose to those up there challenging for it.”