Stawell Westlift Warriors didn't get the results they were looking when they took on Horsham Saints in the Wimmera Football League, but they are now confident they are heading in the right direction.
As the final siren sounded Stawell were down by 40 points after playing what coach Brad Cassidy described as their best game to date.
"In terms of effort and intent, we were much better this week," Cassidy said.
"It would have been easy for them to drop their heads after the thrashing against Horsham. I'm pleased with how they all bounced back."
While excited to see there has been an improvement across the board in the Warriors camp it was still another loss to their season tally.
Going into the match expectations of Stawell were divided with many thinking they would be an easy beat.
"We really wanted to take the opportunity to make a better account of ourselves," Cassidy said.
"I think we have achieved that now, even though we didn't take the points. Supporters and players can live with poor results."
The first half of football saw Stawell take an early lead.
The movement across the ground, the defensive intensity and tackling pressure were all up from previous weeks and a win looked possible.
At the quarter time break Stawell were trailing by four points.
After a couple of quick second quarter goals Stawell had eradicated the margin and taken a slight lead.
Finishing the quarter strongly Horsham Saints kicked three late goals to take the lead by three points.
In the second half Stawell began to slip away on the scoreboard, but the standard of football remained the same.
Stawell continued to fight, kicking early last quarter goals despite being almost 40 points down.
"It's just nice to have some more positives to take out of the game," Cassidy said.
"I asked for a bit more effort and I got exactly that."
Aidan Potter played another impressive game through the middle for Warriors in the absence of Jesse Eckel, who failed to get through his last training session with a groin strain.
Trevor Matthews supplied the team with the voice and leadership Cassidy expected.
Matthews had been brought into the line up to play a tagging role on Horsham star Patrick Knott who was a late withdrawal.
Jamie Bach played one of his better games for the season being able to play a defensive role as well as win his own football.
"It's a different feeling around the club after that game," Cassidy said.
"If we can keep that attitude and mental approach we should surprise some people again next weekend."
The finals score was Horsham 14.19.103 defeating Stawell 9.9.63.