Stenhousemuir boss Brown Ferguson had mixed feelings after seeing his side begin their League One campaign with a 2-2 draw at Peterhead on Saturday.
The Warriors manager admitted that he would probably have settled for a point before the match, but after Stenny scored twice in the first 10 minutes he felt his side could have gone on to win.
However the second half dismissal of Stuart Malcolm handed the Blue Toon the initiative and in the end there was a sense of relief at hanging on for a point.
Although he had no complaints about the red card, Ferguson said: “There’s no doubt that was the turning point.
“For 50 to 55 minutes we controlled the game and were comfortable and looking good to take all three points.
“But it all came down to the sending off and the penalty incident in the space of five minutes and in the end the boys did well to dig in and hold on for the draw.
“When they got to 2-2 with 15 minutes still to go they were able to go for it but the boys threw their bodies in the way and got blocks in and even managed to create a couple of chances.
“The fitness, the desire and the energy levels were all there and what pleased me most was in the first half was we killed the game. We slowed it down and picked it up when it was needed so there was a lot for us to take out of the match.”
Stenny play their first home league game this Saturday against an Airdrie side Ferguson expects to be determined to bounce back from their opening day defeat by Forfar.
He said: “I expect it to be a tough game but that’s going to be the case every week in this league.
“They didn’t get off to the start they wanted so they will want to put that right, but if we play as we did on Saturday hopefully that will enable us to get the result we want.”
Malcolm is suspended for Saturday and a knock will rule out Carlos Mazana-Martinez, but Mark Gilhaney returns to the squad after injury and Anthony Marenghi is back in training, although the Airdrie match comes too soon for him.
Warriors play First Division Raith Rovers in the League Cup second round on Tuesday, a match Ferguson said he was looking forward to.
He said: “They’re a full-time team from a division above us but we’re at home and in my time here we’ve performed well against teams from higher leagues so I’m looking forward to it.”
Stenny’s match at Ayr on Saturday, September 5, has been moved to Tuesday, September 1, at 7.45pm to avoid a conflict with Prestwick Air Show.