Cliftonville's goalless streak now stands at 402 minutes but boss Eddie Patterson feels his side took a step in the right direction with Saturday’s draw against Ballymena United.
They certainly had their chances to win the game with Chris Scannell striking a post and Kieran O’Connor somehow contriving to keep his own scrambled effort out of the net when he slipped on the ball.
It was just one of those days when it wouldn’t go in for the Reds – a feeling which has become all too familiar for a side which hasn’t scored in approaching four-and-a-half matches – but Patterson was full of praise for his players.
“We were better in the second-half than we were in the first and we asked the boys to go out and enjoy themselves at the interval,” he said.
“They were a wee bit nervy and tentative in the early stages, but I think that was only to be expected after losing 4-0 to Linfield here on Monday night.
“Their pride took a hit in that game and they were all very down at training on Thursday, but it was obvious they wanted to redeem themselves and repay the supporters, who were once again behind them from the start.
“I showed them a bit of loyalty by sticking with the same starting line-up, with the exception of Conor Downey coming in for the injured Barry Johnston. I wanted to give them a chance to restore a bit of pride and show me they still had the hunger and the fight for the challenge.
“We matched Ballymena in the first-half but we knew we needed to go up a level after the break and we did that, but it’s just disappointing we weren’t able to go on to take all three points.”
Ballymena boss Roy Walker said: “Any point at Solitude is a good point and we should take heart from that. I was pleased with the fight that was shown by the players, that was something we knew we would need if we were going to come away with anything.”