UPBEAT boss Steve Cuss believes Wimborne Town’s season is alive and kicking on the back of recent displays – despite Saturday’s narrow defeat at Mangotsfield.

Magpies left Cossham Street empty handed as Lewis Powell’s close-range finish from Matt Sysum’s cutback gave the promotion-chasing hosts the verdict in a keenly-contested match.

Cuss confessed his side had failed to find their rhythm in the first half but in a more open second 45 minutes, George Webb, Sam Griffin and Mark Gamble all missed presentable opportunities to level the match.

Jamie Davidson was dismissed for a second booking late on and Wimborne’s efforts were ultimately to avail.

But despite the 1-0 setback leaving the Cuthbury outfit 11th, 10 points shy of the Southern South & West play-off places, Cuss took plenty of encouragement from his side’s recent showings against some of the league’s leading lights.

Cuss told the Daily Echo: “I still think there is plenty to play for this season. We have a run of difficult games but there are plenty of points available against the top sides to enable us to make up ground.

“I have been delighted with the performances of late. We have played four of the top sides and competed very well against all of them.

“I was particularly pleased with the second half response at Mangotsfield. We are not high on numbers at the moment but having a settled side helps and that continuity seems to be working quite well.”

On the Mangotsfield match, Cuss added: “I thought we probably deserved something from our second-half performance. We created three or four good chances after not quite hitting the heights in the first half.

“The goal was a little bit disappointing because we had managed to clear the first ball but could not get out quick enough. When the second one came in we were caught square and left the lad with an open goal.”

Magpies: Harvell, Arnold, Maybury, Phillipson-Masters, Oliver, Blake, Griffin (Burton-Hemmings, 76), Davidson, Stokoe, Gamble, Webb (Kemble, 66). Unused sub: Roast.