Dean Thomas was disappointed with a sloppy start as Kettering Town’s Calor League Division One Central campaign began with a defeat at Potters Bar Town.
The new-look Poppies squad found themselves a goal down inside two minutes and their task was made a lot harder when Andy Gooding saw red for a two-footed lunge before half-time.
Boss Thomas was pleased with the spirit his team showed after the break. But they were undone by a late second as the hosts made a winning start.
“It was disappointing because we made a sloppy start and gave away a bad goal after a long hoof over the top,” the Kettering manager said.
“And then, when Andy Gooding got sent off, it made the task that much harder for us.
“Having said that, I thought we showed a lot of spirit with 10 men in the second half. We created a few chances but we didn’t get it right in front of goal.
“They made us pay for our mistakes. It was disappointing to concede the second because we looked like we might get something from the game.
“It is disappointing to lose the first match. But there were enough positives in the game show me that we can have a good season.”
Thomas, meanwhile, had no complaints over Gooding’s red card.
He added: “No, I don’t think we can complain too much about it.
“He won one tackle and then jumped straight into another one and he was high with it.
“Maybe five years ago he would have got away with it but in this day and age you can’t do that. The referee certainly couldn’t wait to get his card out of his pocket.”
The Poppies play their first-ever game in their new home of Latimer Park on Tuesday night when they entertain Barton Rovers.