Alex Goode hailed the fighting spirit of Saracens after they fell just short of a memorable comeback against at Leicester Tigers on his 350th appearance for the club.

The league leaders were 24-3 down at one stage but tries from Eroni Mawi and Alex Lewington set home nerves jangling, only for the visitors to fall six points short.

It was only their second defeat of the season and Sarries have a seven-point advantage over second-placed Sale Sharks, who lost 38-34 at Northampton Saints.

And Goode, who kicked two penalties and a conversion, saw a lot of positives in their loss at the weekend.

He told club media: “A lot of the boys were really shocked with how good they are. I’m really proud of everyone in the group to come back into a game which seemed lost in such a tough environment.

“When we rolled our sleeves up, and we started hitting them, knocking them back, we got on top and we gave ourselves a great opportunity.

“I think that’s probably the disappointment – we put ourselves in a brilliant position and we couldn’t just get that last try when we had those opportunities.”

Lewington capitalised on a loose pass to run 70 metres and cross six minutes after the restart but from then on, Saracens couldn’t make the critical breakthrough they needed.

Alex Lozowski came within inches of scoring after a 30-metre carry and Sarries had the ball on the line multiple times but robust defending from Tigers kept them at bay.

Goode said: “It’s a shame. We did so much and we had those opportunities to win it and we didn’t.

“We said at half-time we wanted a response and we got that. Everyone dug in and fought incredibly hard.”

“Hopefully this will be a springboard for us for the next two games.”

Goode led the side out on Sunday as he marked a huge appearance milestone for a club with whom he has won five Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups.

The Saracens legend overtook Kris Chesney as the club’s record appearance-maker in October and spoke of his love for the club after the Leicester clash.

He said: “It really is an incredible place and one that I love being at. It never gets boring turning out for this club.

“It wasn’t to be but every time I put this shirt on, I love it and I love being part of this club – a real special honour for me and my family.”