Marcus Law admitted Kettering Town’s performance was “nowhere near good enough” after they were well beaten at Basingstoke Town.
The Poppies’ inconsistent start to the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division continued as they suffered a 3-0 defeat against a Basingstoke side who were relegated from the National League South.
Kettering had gone into the clash on the back of a fine 3-1 success at Redditch United.
But Law conceded his players had a bad day, although he believes their cause wasn’t helped by the absence of some key players while Callum Westwood suffered a knee ligament injury, which forced him off during the first half.
“We didn’t turn up and there were too many players having an off day,” Law said.
“There were certain players who didn’t take the opportunities handed to them. It was nowhere near good enough.
“You never want to make excuses but with the likes of Liam Canavan, Wilson Carvalho and Rene Howe missing, we are talking about three players who were first names on the team sheet during last season.
“To have them all missing at the same time hurts and it showed up badly in this game.
“And then, just to add to it, Callum Westwood looks like he has tweaked a ligament in his knee and has had to come off after 20 minutes.
“We will have to let the swelling go down before we know the full extent of it.
“But it’s a shame for him. He has been very good for us so far this season.
“He has been our dynamic outball and for him to suffer that injury is very frustrating and disappointing.”
Carvalho was serving the last of a six-match ban and will now be available for the Poppies when they host Stratford Town next Saturday.
Kettering, meanwhile, now know they will travel to Leek Town in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup on September 3 after they beat Newcastle Town 3-2 in their preliminary round clash.