NEW Little Oakley boss Matt Carmichael felt there was plenty to be positive about during his first game in charge – despite the heartache of conceding a last-gasp winning goal.

The Acorns looked on course for a hard-earned point in their Thurlow Nunn League division one south match against in-form White Ensign at the Memorial Ground on Saturday.

Greg Rodger’s goal left the contest delicately poised until the hosts grabbed their winner from the very last kick of the game.

It meant Oakley ended up losing 2-1.

“It was bitter pill to swallow, conceding so late in the game,” said Carmichael.

“But White Ensign had won seven in a row and went top of the table after beating us, so it shows how well we played.

“From our point of view, there were a lot of positives.

“It was my first game and the boys had to get used to a new shape, a new system and fresh instructions.

“It’s going to take time to adjust but the main thing is that that the whole squad has responded well.

“Everyone’s on board and we can’t be too disappointed by Saturday’s result.”

Carmichael felt his side would have been worthy of a point at the weekend, based on their second-half performance.

“White Ensign were the better side in the first half,” he said.

“Dan Joyce kept us in the game with good saves.

“But we changed things a bit at half-time and, in the end, were good value for a point, if not more.

“We missed a gilt-edged chance right at the end and that was a pivotal moment.

“Had it gone in, I’m confident we would have gone on to win the game.”

Oakley travel across Tendring to visit Brightlingsea Regent Reserves on Saturday.

The R’s are bottom of the table with just one victory from their opening 14 matches.

Nevertheless, Carmichael is expecting a tough game and said: “They’re not a bad side.

“They’ve got a lot of young players and they’re finding their feet at this level, but I’ve heard good things about the football they play and we’re expecting a very difficult match.”