City of Liverpool manager Paul McNally noted positive signs from their 1-1 draw with Bootle but admitted a draw was a fair result.
Danny Mitchley acrobatically fired the Purps into an early lead but former attacker Tom Peterson came back to haunt them with a header with less than a quarter of an hour remaining.
The former Skelmersdale United striker to his tally for the club to three, two in the league, and could’ve took home the matchball in their derby clash – but failed to take his chances.
Both Bootle and City of Liverpool enjoyed spells of possession and dominance with the latter asserting themselves in the first-half. The Bucks answered back in the second-half but McNally’s side still had glimpses but couldn’t tuck it away at the vital time.
Purps boss was happy with what he saw and felt the share of the spoils was right. He told Off The Park: “I thought a draw was probably a fair reflection, not what I wanted personally but on the face of play, second-half they were stronger for 30 minutes, we were the better team for 45 minutes so probably a draw.
“Although, I thought we could’ve held on but it is what it is, I’d have taken a point today.
“When you’re 1-0 up, you’ve got something to hang onto. I don’t think we were hanging onto it because we had opportunities, hit the post and had opportunities where we could’ve scored – they’ve hit the post – but in these type of games, if you don’t take your chances you don’t win.
“I think we defended resolutely apart from the goal, that’s it, whereas I don’t think they defended well, they were at sixes and sevens at times, we didn’t capitalise. A point is probably a good point,” he added.
City of Liverpool ended Runcorn Linnets’ good run of form on Boxing Day to take their recent record to two unbeaten.
Going into 2023 and their derby with Bootle in particular, he discussed making a statement. Rectifying the comment, McNally feels the mentality of his side is changing.
“When I said make a statement, I meant we aren’t pushovers now,” he continued. “There’s belief in this team, we’ve dug in today and done a job – we done it against Runcorn Linnets.
“We’ve took four points over the Christmas period against Bootle, in the top eight, and Runcorn Linnets, who were in the top five, two tough fixtures and we’ve come away with four out of six, if you’re at the top you’d take that.
“I think as a group we’re starting to change the mentality, we’re starting to grow, we’re still not where I want us to be or where the club need to be but we’re slowly changing the mentality and the tide is changing, I just want to take each game as it comes.
“Yeah and no,” McNally said on whether the draw feels like two points dropped after going in front. “They were battering us in the second-half, I don’t think they created anything clearcut but when you’re relentless in your play, defending ball after ball, it’s inevitable that something will be created, it’s tiring for the defenders.
“We had a big game on Boxing Day, maybe that kicked in second-half, I don’t know. On the face of it, it’s a point, we’ll take it.”
City of Liverpool climbed one place in the table, leapfrogging McNally’s former club and next opponent Skelmersdale United. Bootle went into the game with 12 points from their last five and one of the in-form teams in recent months.
Their showing against the Bucks was a step in the right direction, according to the Purps boss, and he wants to continue taking small steps to achieve their goals
“They’re in the form guide, 12 points from five so it tells you where they’re going and I think we’re moving in that right direction.
“I’m not saying we’ll be fighting for the title or playoffs but let’s just take each game as it comes, the mentality is starting to turn and we’re starting to get a bit of momentum, style and see how we go.”