Stockton manager Scott Easterlow still believes he will deliver on his promise to bring Coventry Alliance Premier Division football to Town Piece inside two seasons.
Stockton topped Division One at the turn of the year before falling away in the second half of the campaign.
Injuries and player unavailability contributed to the slide down the division and Easterlow says there will be no excuses if promotion is not achieved at the close of the current campaign.
“When I came here last season I told the club in two seasons I would have them back in the Premier,” said Easterlow.
“The first season was all about bringing some stability back to the club and we were well ahead of target once we got going and we were top at Christmas.
“We just fell apart after that and I can blame injuries and people going travelling etc. But that’s football.
“I honestly felt last year we were only a couple players light of gaining promotion back to the Premier but a year on I have no excuses.
“We have added some real quality in Michael Clough and Tom Cooper (both ex-Southam) and Luke Cole (ex-Whitnash) and I’m still trying to add three to the squad which will give us a massive push in the direction we want to go.”
Stockton kicked off their campaign with a 3-0 win over AEI Rugby Reserves.
New signings Cooper and Cole both should have done better with headers in the box and it needed a fine one-on-one save from Michael Moreton to prevent Stockton going behind against the run of play.
Stockton pressure eventually told, with Tom French firing in off a post to give them the lead just before the break, with Sam Singleton and Tom Callaghan sealing the points in the second half.
And, despite Stockton struggling for fluency, Easterlow said he always felt his side was in control.
“I’m glad that’s out of the way,” he said. “First games of the season are always hard.
“You just want the win no matter how you play.
“Although I wasn’t happy with the football we played I never thought we were in danger once we took the lead and hopefully the football will come in future weeks.”
Stockton followed up with a 2-1 defeat of Ambleside Resrves in the first round of the Bermuda Cup on Saturday.
Easterlow made seven changes from the side that beat AEI Rugby and was rewarded with goals from Harry Easterlow and Liam Naven-Jones to seal their progress.
And despite starting the season with a 100 per cent record, Easterlow said there was still plenty to work on.
“We have made an okay start to this season.
“Two wins from two is great but there’s room for improvement on the footballing front while our finishing definitely needs some fine tuning.”
Stockton travelled to Whitnash Town Reserves last night (Thursday),