Billy Miller has reiterated Harrogate Railway are “not a million miles away” from the top Evo-Stik First Division North outfits.
A late winner denied Railway a famous point against league champions Curzon Ashton on Monday night.
Railway veteran Colin Hunter saw a second-half penalty saved before Curzon struck the only goal of the game from an injury-time corner.
This week, Miller takes his 14th placed side to Kendal Town, with the game kicking off at 3.07pm.
Curzon clinched the league title at Station View having already picked up 95 points from just 37 games.
But Railway provided a stern test in their second 1-0 defeat to the runaway champions this year.
And Miller was left rueing Hunter’s second penalty miss of the season which would have put Railway strong favourites to achieve the shock result of the season.
“We put up a great fight,” said Miller.
“It shows that we are not a million miles away.
“All the pressure was on them to beat us. For us, it was just a case of enjoying the game.
“Had we scored that penalty it would have been just rewards for the effort we put in. Instead, the momentum swung their way immediately after and four minutes into injury time they got the winner.”
Miller praised defensive partnership Mike Morris and Dan Thirkell for containing the usually free-scoring visitors. But admitted his young side had learnt a valuable lesson from the clash.
He added: “There were times when we looked really good. But what I like about Curzon is they are consistent, they do the same things over and over again.
“That’s where we need to be if we want to be up there.”
The unusual start time of this Saturday’s clash at Kendal will commemorate when 96 supporters died in the Hillsborough disaster 25 years ago.
The FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest was halted after two minutes, before it was officially abandoned five minutes later.
All Evo-Stik First Division North fixtures will kick-off seven minutes late this Saturday.
“As a mark of respect, it’s a great gesture from the league,” said Miller.
Former Harrogate Town defender Craig Radcliffe could return to the Railway squad after three weeks of unavailability.
But Miller still has injury concerns over Jon Maloney, Lawrence Hunter and Simon Wood.
“We have to go there and give a good account of ourselves,” Miller said.
“They are sat just above us at the moment, and as I always says, no game is easy in this league.
“We will regroup and give the lads a rest ahead of the game, which should do one or two of them good.”