Richie McLoughlin believes his Jarrow Roofing side are beginning to show signs of recovery, following their hard-fought draw against high-flying Whitley Bay.
Adam Shanks opened the scoring before Arjun Purewal continued his impressive start to life on South Tyneside – grabbing the equaliser seconds before half-time.
Shortly after the break, Roofing’s Kerry Hedley put his side ahead with a fierce effort, but Jake Fowler levelled from the spot to ensure the points were shared.
This result means that the South Tynesiders are yet to win at home this season, and have not tasted victory in their last seven games.
However, McLoughlin was delighted with the way his injury-hit Roofers responded from their 4-2 defeat against North Shields in midweek.
McLoughlin said: “It was a very hard game. They are doing very well in the league, so it was excellent to come away with a point.
“However, it’s the same story as the last few weeks; we’ve given daft goals away. But, performance-wise, we were brilliant.”
Roofing quickly came out of the blocks and could have been ahead in the first minute, but Michael Mackay could only volley into the side-netting after being played through by Calvin Smith.
Christopher McDonald’s 26th-minute corner was flicked on by Kempster, Roofing failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to Shanks, who drove the ball past Jennison on the half volley.
Just as it looked like Roofing were going to go in behind at the break, up stepped Purewal. Nick Hay played in the returning Robbie Williamson down the right wing, the attacker muscled his way to the byline before driving his cross along the face of goal. Paul Chow left it, and Purewal came storming in at the back post to rifle home.
After the break, Hedley stepped up to fire Roofing ahead.
Shaun Vipond found Hay down the right with a quick free-kick, and the full-back had time and space to whip his cross to the back post. Hedley ghosted in, controlled the ball and struck his first-time volley into the roof of the net.
That lead was to only last 10 minutes as Roofing were penalised for a handball inside the box. Fowler would make no mistake from 12 yards.
Five defenders were missing for Roofing in this match – including Dan Kirkup and Alex White - but McLoughlin was quick to heap praise on those that started at the back and believes it’s only a matter of time before his side rack up the wins.
“Defensively, we looked solid, organised and dealt with heavy pressure at the end from Whitley Bay. There were some encouraging signs out there, and it doesn’t concern me that we haven’t won in a few games.
“Pre-season was not ideal for us. We had a lot of injuries and holidays to deal with, and it just didn’t feel right.
I think it’s only now that we are starting to get the players up to the required levels of fitness, so I think we’ll start to come good in the next couple of games.”