Marcus Law admitted Kettering Town “died away” as a second-half capitulation saw them dumped out of the FA Trophy.
Evo-Stik Northern League Division One North side Burscough ran out 3-0 winners at a rainswept Latimer Park as the Poppies were beaten by lower-ranked opponents in a knockout competition for a second time this season.
After an entertaining opening period which saw both sides having chances, Kettering were well beaten in the second half.
It brought an end to a controversial week which had seen Law consider his position before receiving the backing of the club’s board to continue as manager.
But once they fell behind to Will Jones’ goal, the Poppies fell apart with a Paul Williams penalty and a Nick Ryan header sending Burscough through.
“You could say it’s a confidence issue,” Law said.
“We have rallied round, we had a really good start to the game, it looked all positive, the support was behind us and then in the second half it was a counter-attacking goal from them after we had been in possession.
“Then you question the heart or, shall we say manning up. If we had carried on doing what we did in the first half then we would have had more opportunities.
“But we died away. It was a poor penalty to give away and it was the sinking feeling. It’s all too often and we need to regenerate confidence.
“We have come off at half-time and could anyone see them being three goals better than us? No. And yet they have been. Things are not happening for us.”
Kettering weren’t helped by Ollie Thorne again limping off with an injury but Law did have a word of praise for new signing Chris Carruthers who made his debut after joining on a dual registration from Corby Town on Friday.
“We lost Ollie through injury again and that’s something we really need to look at,” the Poppies boss added.
“We are getting him out there because we need him out there and he makes a big difference for us.
“I thought Chris was steady and he added a bit experience to it.
“We are trying to release James (Brighton) a little bit more in an attacking aspect to give us width and Chris will play a part in making that happen.”
The Poppies’ Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division clash with Leamington, which was due to be played on Tuesday, will now be re-arranged after the Brakes drew 0-0 with Rushall Olympic in the FA Trophy.