Marcus Law felt Kettering Town could be “proud of their performance” despite their season ending with an NFA Hillier Senior Cup final defeat to AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
The Poppies enjoyed long spells of possession at Sixfields but didn’t turn it into goals as Jack Ashton’s stoppage-time header secured a 2-1 success for Andy Peaks’ side.
Shawn Richards had given Diamonds the lead but Herve Pepe-N’Goma levelled things up before half-time with his first goal in Kettering colours.
It was one-way traffic for the majority of the second half but the Poppies’ inability to force Diamonds goalkeeper Matt Finlay into anything other than routine saves was a source of frustration for Law.
“I thought our style of play was very good, we created opportunities,” the Poppies boss said.
“But where we lacked, which has been a rarity of late, was when it came to working the goalkeeper.
“There were times we had opportunities on target but we didn’t test the keeper and we have a few off target.
“Unfortunately, that’s the way cup football is. They have seized upon two of their three opportunities and nailed it.
“We can be proud of our performance, we can be proud that we had a 16-year-old out there, we can be proud we had a couple of lads out there who came through the youth ranks and we have played some very good football.
“We are disappointed because we felt their lad was offside with the header that led to the corner but then we have allowed a free header.
“It’s frustrating to come away from it knowing that if it was a boxing match then their towel probably would have come in.
“But it’s not a boxing match, it’s football and they got their moment and they took it.”
Law, meanwhile, piled the praise on the army of Poppies fans who attended the game.
Nearly 700 Kettering fans went across the county to watch their team in action for the final time this season.
And Law added: “I have to give credit to the supporters.
“They out sang and outnumbered the opposition and they didn’t stop backing us for 90 minutes and I have to thank them for that.
“Even with a bitter pill at the end, they are with us. They believe in this group and they can see where we are going.”