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“A SMALL step forward” was director of rugby Rowland Winter’s verdict after yesterday’s 20-20 draw at Darlington Mowden Park.

Two tries in a four-minute burst midway through the second half put Cov on course for what would have been only their second away win of the season, but Park hit back to equalise deep in injury time.

The draw leaves Cov in sixth place at the midway point of the National League One season and leading into this week’s home derby against Birmingham Moseley.

“In terms of our away form, it was better,” said Winter. “We worked hard and we grafted to put ourselves in the lead with not long to go, but they clawed their way back.

“The attitude of the two teams post final whistle showed everything – they’re celebrating a draw, while we’re gutted that we’ve only got a couple of points out of it against a team in the relegation area.

“It’s easy to look at the last couple of plays and say we should have done it differently, but their two tries have come from our discipline and we had created so many opportunities in the first 25 minutes of the game in their 22 that we haven’t taken. Those are the key things.

“Our defence was a lot better today, partly down to Darlington who are quite limited in what they do, but points on the board are what matter away from home and, overall, it’s a small step forward.

“It’s a start, we’re halfway through the year, and we need to kick on.”