The alarm bells are not yet ringing for Northland FC's men's first team, despite recording their third 0-0 draw of the season on Saturday against Oratia United.
The goalless draw, played at Parrs Park in Auckland, is the seventh game without a win for the Northland boys, who haven't won since their 1-0 victory over Ngongotaha AFC on April 6 and sit 11th on the 12-team Lotto NRFL competition table.
The team's issues have largely come from not being able to execute in front of goal, having scored just four goals in nine games. Northland's defence has still remained solid, apart from an 8-0 drumming at the hands of Claudelands Rovers, having only conceded 17 goals, the same as table-topping Manurewa AFC.
With the Northland reserves team winning 4-3 against Oratia United reserves, the first team would have gone into the afternoon fixture with some confidence, but were faced with stiff opposition early.
"We started slowly and they really took it to us in the first bit," Northland FC coach Owen Liiv said.
"They created a couple of chances and we were lucky not to concede, but after that we were able to nullify their threat."
Liiv said Oratia stretched Northland's three-man defence with long diagonal balls into the wide areas, but with some quick strategy changes, the visitors took hold of the game.
"As the first half went on, we were able to win the ball a bit higher up the pitch and worked on feeding our attackers, and we did create a couple of chances but not much of note."
Coming out of the sheds after halftime, Liiv felt his side took the initiative and were the stronger team by far. He said Northland fashioned about three golden chances mid-way through the second half, which were all denied by fantastic saves from the Oratia United goalkeeper.
With 13 games still to go in the competition, Liiv wasn't worried at this stage but knew better performances needed to come soon.
"It's not bad getting a point away from home but when you haven't won since the beginning of April, you know we need to start converting these draws," he said.
"We've shown that we are tough to break down and hard to beat, we just really need to score some goals."
Liiv believed his side was improving and working hard through the week, which meant the team's philosophy would not change going into their next fixture against Franklin United on June 8 at Tikipunga Park at 3pm.
"I don't think our systems need to change, a lot of teams in our league play the same way and we've caused quite a few problems by putting two up the top so it's just about persevering," he said.
In Northland's premier men's football competition, Kaeo-Inter beat Onerahi, 3-0, Madhatters beat Tikipunga, 5-1, and Kerikeri beat FC Whangārei, 1-0.