South Liverpool manager Martin Ryman is happy with his side’s start to life in the North West Counties but believes there are heights to be sought as they sit five points off the play-off positions after just 11 games.
In their return to the league they have won four, drawn and lost three. Their latest outing saw them comeback from three goals down at half-time to draw with AFC Liverpool.
After an unbeaten title-winning season they were promoted from the West Cheshire League as part of the FA’s pyramid restructure, bringing to an end a spell of four league titles in six years.
Stephen Doyle is the club’s top scorer, with Cameron Dalton not far behind, after scoring four in three games including a brace last time out.
“We came into it, I keep using this phrase to find our feet and try and be as competitive as we can,” Ryman told Off The Park. “We certainly weren’t making any promises that we were going to make the playoffs or get promotion or do anything really.
“We were just looking to be as competitive as we can, I think in every game we’ve played this season so far we’ve been in it we haven’t been tonked once really results wise.
“But we still are trying to find our feet, we’ve had some average performances, we’re still looking for a really decent 90-minute performance, sometimes we’re just playing for 45, 60 minutes, we’ve got to start to put the perfect or as close to it 90-minute performance in. So far, we’re in enjoying it but we’re okay.
“We always knew what the standard was and we always done well in pre-season friendlies, we knew we could or hoping we could compete, if someone would’ve said after 11 games we’d be on 16 points in seventh position, I’d probably take that.”
Despite the start, Ryman believes there is still another notch that his side can go to as they eye higher up the league table in the upcoming months.
“Our away from hasn’t been too bad, which has surprised me, our home form isn’t great for some reason – it’s just something we’ve got to get right.
“Going to Daisy Hill and winning 2-1 of a Monday when we played on a Saturday was decent. Or away to Cleator Moor Celtic which was a good three hour journey, keeping a clean sheet and winning 2-0 was decent.
“In the same way on Saturday we were 3-0 down at half-time and in a way we were happy to keep the score down but we drew 3-3 against a very, very good AFC Blackpool so that was a decent comeback. We’re unbeaten in four at the minute but I’m not shouting it from the roof tops, I think we won two, drew two, there’s been glimmers of hope.
“You can’t just go into football and finish eighth. We want to enjoy it and finish as high up the table as we can but so far, we are enjoying the ride every bit of it. Yes, we’d like to not of conceded as many goals. Yes we’d of liked to got more points on the table.
“Yes, we’d like to be further up the table but in terms of how things have gone, on and off the pitch so far we’re happy. We attracted over 300 people for our first home game against Ashton which was decent, we’ve continued to get 100 at most home games since so we’re happy-ish. On the pitch, it’s my job to get it right and I will do that.
“It’s been a build-up for 20-odd years, competitions in the Liverpool league, moving over to the West Cheshire League, we’ve won the league five times out of seven, we could’ve sat there and done the same thing maybe but it’s given us a winning mentality and we think we deserved a go at this standard of football and that’s what’s we’re doing.”