Marcus Law felt Kettering Town “missed an opportunity” after they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Chesham United.
Two second-half goals secured the points for the fifth-placed hosts who closed the gap on the Poppies to nine points in the battle for the play-off places in the Evo-Stik South League Premier.
Boss Law felt a tough week finally caught up with his players in the second half after they had gone into the game on the back of a fine 3-0 win at Tiverton Town on Tuesday night.
And the Kettering boss all-but conceded any chance his team have of claiming top spot in the division after title favourites Hereford beat fellow high-fliers Weymouth 2-0 to move 10 points clear of the Poppies with a game in hand.
“It was quite a lacklustre game for the most part,” Law said.
“We were just below average all the way across the park and I think things caught up with us a little bit.
“We looked leggy towards the end, we made some tired decisions and we didn’t have enough to see the game out and take a point.
“We were nowhere near as sharp as we have been in the last two games and we didn’t cover the same amount of ground as them.
“We are just frustrated because they have put their only two real chances away and we weren’t able to convert any of the five or six we created.
“And, to add to the frustration, we have put ourselves back into a good position and we knew others up there had tough games and we haven’t been able to take advantage.
“We have missed an opportunity and that’s probably the most disappointing thing.
“All we can do is park it up and move on.
“I think there is an acceptance now that top spot is probably out of our reach.
“So we will prepare well for next weekend and continue in our quest to finish as high as we possibly can.”
The Poppies are due to be back in action next Saturday when they host Dorchester Town at Latimer Park.