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Boulevard seal first point

Ian Coke spoke of the relief among the Boulevard camp after finally securing their first point of the season and the subsequent growing belief in retaining their Premier Division status.

Rooted to the foot of the table after ten straight defeats, Boulevard got off the mark with an encouraging 1-1 draw away to Southampton Rangers on Saturday.

Coke broke the deadlock in the 55th minute, only for Shayne Hollis to deny Boulevard a maiden victory 15 minutes from time.

Despite the disappointment of relinquishing the lead, Coke revealed the impact of the result within the dressing room, with Boulevard still 11 points adrift of Somerset Trojans outside of the drop zone.

“I'm really pleased for the whole squad to get the ball rolling and, to be honest, it felt like a win after the season we've had,” said the player-coach.

“As well as getting that first point, we also played some really good football. Hopefully we can start to get some real belief among the squad and build on momentum.

“The only negative is that we couldn't hold on to the lead. The goal came from the only mistake we made all game and we were punished.

“That's the way it goes when you're down the bottom of the league, but credit to the players, they kept battling and that's good to see.

“It gives us something to build on and trying to get some momentum is the key to try and get closer to the teams directly above us.

“We aren't getting carried away and we know it's only a small step, but the morale in the changing room afterwards was through the roof and everyone took great encouragement from not only the point but the performance as well.”

Following a break from action, attention will turn to a challenging match against title-challenging North Village on January 26 and although Coke is well aware of the task in hand, he also knows that all of the expectation will be on their opponents.

“North Village will be a really tough game, but we'll take heart from this first point,” he added.

“We've learnt a lot this season from past defeats and we are working hard to go back over those mistakes and improve going forward.

“No one expects us to win and really all of the pressure will be on them.

“No one wants to be the first team to lose to the side at the bottom of the league.”

On target: Ian Coke

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Published January 13, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 12, 2020 at 11:16 pm)

Boulevard seal first point

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