OVER a bank holiday weekend where the sun baked all within its reach, it was hard work both on and off the pitch as we toiled and boiled in vein.

A solitary point felt a bit underwhelming considering we played against ten men on Saturday at Altrincham and (up until Monday) the league’s whipping boys Bradford (Park Avenue). It was a frustrating few days which served to remind us that we are far from being the finished article.

The games were similar. We had plenty of possession but were facing sides determined to prevent us getting through them. Adding to our problems, we allowed both sides to get a goal giving them something to cling on to. It was bitterly frustrating. When Altrincham went down to ten men in the first half on Saturday, the weekend had the potential to provide a bumper crop of points. By five o’clock on Monday, the weekend was a big missed opportunity.

How could it have been better? I saw a few comments on social media about us lacking a proper line-leading striker. It’s hard to disagree. Sadly, that player was out of our reach during the summer and as such we need to persevere with what we have. I’m sure our attacking play will come good. There is too much quality in our front line for it not too.

Of course, we all know who Alun wanted to add to the front line. Dan Maguire was his trump card at Blyth. Along with Glen Taylor, Maguire is the best striker in the league. He would be the missing piece in the jigsaw for many sides in this division even if he has gotten off to a slow start at his new club, York. Unfortunately, we couldn’t compete with them financially.

Fortunately, as a club, we have managed to get ourselves in a position where we can step back from the precipice when it comes to players we really can’t afford. There is little point stretching the club’s finances beyond our means chasing that magical unicorn of a player who will make everything click.

As we have found out numerous times over the years, once we’ve handed over the dosh and gotten him through the door, the unicorn often tends to be a donkey with a cornetto stuck to his head.

Sadly, it seems like Darlo are in a pretty exclusive group of clubs who will not overreach when it comes to finances. With the exception of the Premier League, there is seemingly no league where clubs don’t gamble in order to get to the greener grass of the next division up. There are some clubs where the owner will happily dig deep and expect nothing in return. For every Steve Gibson and Brad Groves there are a dozen Steve Dales and Ken Andersons. Bury's expulsion from the EFL brings back raw memories for us Darlo fans.

Hearing Bury fans bemoan the club's owner, the FA, the EFL and the Premier League because of its riches sounds familiar. However, it is times like this that we, as fans, need to take a closer look at ourselves. All too often, fans’ support is contingent on success. More fans coming through the turnstiles generally helps fund successful teams. As such, clubs find themselves in a catch 22 situation. They have to spend big to attract big crowds. But what if they don’t spend well? Not every club can be promoted. There has to be losers as well as winners. It’s easy for many clubs to get themselves into a right mess. I suspect Bury is just the tip of the iceberg.

So what does this have to do with Darlo? If we had an extra 50 or 60 grand we could have signed that matchwinner who might give us a bit more extra quality. However, there is absolutely no guarantee he would succeed. After all, we made that exact signing last summer and it turned out Simon Ainge really was a centre half and not a striker. We’ve learned our lesson. Once bitten, twice shy.

Like everyone else, I want a football club to support for years to come. If that means we have to bide time or tread water, then so be it. I suspect Bury fans would kill to be in our position right now.