Marcus Law was happy to see Kettering Town pick up the NFA Hillier Senior Cup but acknowledged his team were far from their best at Sixfields last night (Tuesday).
The Poppies looked to be heading for defeat in the final for the second year running when former Kettering man Jason Lee hammered home a terrific 25-yard strike to give Corby Town a second-half lead.
Having been out of sorts for most of the game, Kettering finally came to life in the last 15 minutes and they conjured up an equaliser from top scorer Aaron O’Connor.
The 1-1 draw meant the game went straight to a penalty shoot-out and, after Rene Howe and Corby’s Danny Draper had seen efforts saved by Aidan Grant and Paul White respectively, it eventually went to sudden death.
At 6-6 Lee stepped up and missed the target and that gave James Brighton the chance to win it, which he duly did to start the celebrations.
It was a bit of redemption for Law and his players after their loss to AFC Rushden & Diamonds at the same ground last year.
But the Poppies boss conceded his team didn’t perform well enough for long periods.
“It’s always nice winning, it’s always nice to get some silverware at the end of the season,” Law said.
“Did we play as well as we did in the final last year? No. Did we have as many chances? No.
“I felt in the first half we really struggled to deal with their midfield, we looked leggy compared to them and we didn’t get close enough to them.
“They looked threatening and they always had the outball so we tried to change it at half-time and we felt we were slowly getting into the game.
“But then there’s a short corner that we have initially dealt with and in fairness to Jason Lee, it was an absolute pearler from him.
“Then it became a case of trying to get back into the game and once we started doing things a bit earlier and stretching the pitch, we created openings and they had something to defend.
“We were unfortunate when we hit the bar but chance-for-chance you could say a draw was fair but possession wise they were a lot better.
“But how many times have we controlled games and lost this season? We will take that because last year it was a bitter pill.
“There were also some very good penalties in the shoot-out and there had to be a slip somewhere and thankfully we have come out on the right side of it.”
The Poppies return to Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division duty on Saturday when they head to Stratford Town.