NEW Littleton boss Keith Ingram would have been forgiven for giving up hope when Luke Rowlands fired a rocket into his own net at Cadbury Athletic on Tuesday.

One point from 15 matches, three wins away from safety before registering a first and your striker crashes in an unstoppable near-post header from a free-kick – shame it was at the wrong end.

Three goals down three days after losing 5-1 at Rocester, the team directly above the relegation places, prompted British-style gallows humour from long-suffering committee members as a familiar tale unfolded.

But in truth the Ton Boys had not been that bad going forward and a stirring fightback began with Oli Manoochehri scrambling in a corner two minutes later.

From there chance after chance went begging and Manoochehri was the hub of most of them, failing to connect with a point-blank header, having a goal chalked off for offside and forcing a strong near-post parry from keeper Stuart Parsons.

Littleton would eventually get their second with the final kick of the game when Rowlands rifled home a penalty to make it 3-2 and at least put a spring back in the step of those hardy followers.

“I thought we were very unlucky,” said Ingram.

“We scored a goal that was marginally offside so the officials say but we battled well after being hit by two sucker punches in the first half.

“There were a lot of plus points. Cadbury are flying high at the moment and we ran them very close.

“We probably had 80 per cent of the play in the second half and they were calling for the final whistle at the end so it gives us something to build on.”

Veteran Ingram, who has spent more than 40 years in management at various levels, is joined by ex-Pershore Town boss Glen Brotherton as his assistant and first-team coach Callum Clarke.

After taking over from summer appointment Martin Schembri, whose right-hand man Nick Smith left two games in, the squad has been largely overhauled with one goal in mind.

“To start with we just want to be out of the bottom two and then to climb towards a safer position,” said Ingram.

“I’m not concerned about any cups we’re in, they will take care of themselves. We’re looking at bringing in another three or four players because we need a squad, you can’t do it at this level with a bare 11.

“We have operated very thinly in the first three or four games but we’re steadily building with players that have the right attitude now.”

And Ingram’s call to arms is not limited to his players.

“It would be nice to see some local people at home games to cheer us on. We need all the support we can get,” he added.