DESPERATE times call for desperate measures and when three points are required there’s little time to worry about style points.

When looking back at Saturday’s trip to Nuneaton, you have to separate the outcome and the performance. While the outcome was exactly what we were looking for, the performance was far from desirable. If there were any neutrals in attendance, I would both pity them for having to endure 90 minutes of poor football and question their decision making for having chosen to attend in the first place.

As frustrating as the afternoon was, coming away with the three points coupled with defeats for FC United and Ashton United meant we once again have a degree of breathing space between us and the relegation zone. The last time I felt this safe was after our last win at Blyth. Back then, in early February, I remember coming out of Croft Park buzzing. Exiting Liberty Way on Saturday evoked a different emotion. It was the feeling of having achieved the bare minimum.

Against a Nuneaton side that is on course to achieve a lower points total than last season’s dreadful North Ferriby, what stood out was the goals we scored were simply beyond the capacity of our hosts. In a dreadful game that barely justified being played in the National League North, our two goals actually had a fair amount of quality about them. The pass from Omar Holness, the cross from Alex Henshall and the header from Stephen Thompson had quality written all over it.

The second from an excellent piece of work from Thompson putting it on a plate for Jordan Nicholson was almost as impressive. Those two pieces of excellence were beyond what Nuneaton could produce and yet it was disappointing that over the course of 90 minutes, those two moments were all we could muster. Indeed, when Nuneaton equalised their goal had been coming.

Throughout the game, it seemed the only way Nuneaton would score was through a set-piece. Couple that with our total inability to deal with set-pieces meant the game remained on a knife-edge throughout. The equaliser felt like it was coming and while we could argue the corner it came from shouldn’t have been awarded, you still have to defend it and we didn’t. It was bitterly disappointing.

There were some bright spots. Thompson had a decent game and looked threatening throughout. While he was on the pitch, Omar Holness looked solid. He stuck to his task protecting the defence and played some useful balls. When fit (and not suspended) he looks like he’ll be a decent addition. However, as a team performance, it simply wasn’t good enough.

Against a side which has been filled with players from lower divisions in recent months, Nuneaton looked closer to Northern League level than they did National League North. I would argue the Stockton Town side we beat in the Durham Challenge Cup would have probably been better. Nuneaton were extremely poor and we were only a little bit better.

Regardless of how poor we were, the objective of three points was achieved and as such we need to move on and hope we don’t nosedive like we did after our last win. We have a great opportunity to pick up some more points on Wednesday when we entertain Chester at Blackwell Meadows. Their away record is dreadful with only Nuneaton having picked up fewer points on the road. Factor in the midweek effect and we should be looking to make it back to back wins. A second win in the week will surely get us a lot closer to being able to close the book on this dreadful season.