THERE was plenty of pride and positivity to take from Barnstaple Town's performance at Cadbury Heath – but still no points.
Their winless run in the Toolstation Western League extended to 19 games with a 3-1 defeat, yet manager Tom Bulley had nothing but praise for his team.
"The players are a credit to the club after that performance," he said. "We have played third in the league and almost made them look like we were the top team and they were struggling.
"The loyal fans who travelled up said it was the best they have seen the team play for a long while.
"People will pick up the Journal and see Barnstaple have been beaten again.Performing so well and getting nothing from it is hard."
Cadbury needed late strikes from substitutes Mark Reynolds and Sam Duggan for a win that kept them in the premier division title hunt.
Barnstaple believed two of the goals were offside and they also felt aggrieved that home goalkeeper Simon Crawford escaped with a yellow card after bringing down Matt Rickard.
To compound Barnstaple's frustrations, Crawford then saved the resulting penalty from Rickard.
After last week's 6-1 hammering by Odd Down, Bulley was looking for a response from his players.
In the second minute, Barnstaple's Jed Harper-Penman sent over a cross and Luke Evans saw his header come back off the inside of the post.
Trailing to a goal from Matt Huxley, the visitors hit back before half time through Rickard.
They also had a goal ruled out when Kieran Jewell was judged to have fouled the keeper as he challenged for a header.
Barnstaple have signed Darren Hawkings from Willand Rovers, although the experienced defender is unlikely to be available for a couple of weeks.
On Saturday, they travel to Radstock Town who are without a win in six matches.
Barnstaple's position at the foot of the table looks even more desperate after Wells City and Bridport, the teams immediately above, both picked up a point each.
"Every game we go into we are looking to win," said Bulley. "After that performance on Saturday, it's going to be hard to change the team."
"We are still trying our best to stay in this division. If we play like that and stick to our game plan, I'm confident we'll stay up."