Marcus Law refused to be too critical of his Kettering Town players after their fine winning streak was ended in a 3-2 defeat to Coalville Town at Latimer Park last night (Tuesday).
Having won seven games in a row, the Poppies were bidding to tighten their grip on the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central title race in the first of their two games in hand on second-placed Stourbridge.
However, they ended the evening with the same eight-point advantage after a below-par display was punished at the death.
Having fallen behind to Kairo Mitchell’s penalty, the Poppies hit back to lead through Dan Holman and Marcus Kelly.
But Coalville substitute Tim Berridge fired home Coalville’s equaliser with nine minutes remaining before Kyle Perry’s stoppage-time headers secured all three points for the play-off chasers.
Law felt some “sloppy” defending ultimately cost the Poppies and said: “If anything, we seemed to be coasting too much.
“We didn’t seem to be comfortable and we went 1-0 down through sloppy defending. We haven’t dropped on the second ball and then there has been a lunge to give away a penalty.
“But I thought we were the side posing questions after that. We didn’t play overly well but probably deserved to go in on level terms.
“In the second half we stumbled into a 2-1 lead and it didn’t look like they were causing us too much bother.
“But some good build-up play and them overloading us on one side has given the lad the chance to cut in and hit a decent strike.
“We seemed to step up after that, we had chances to go 3-2 up and then it’s a sloppy free-kick to give away and they have scored from it.
“I think it’s a bit unfortunate that we haven’t got something from the game but I can’t dig the lads out too much.
“It’s disappointing in terms of the result but in terms of where we are going and what we are doing, I am still happy.”
The Poppies will get another opportunity to to extend their lead on Saturday when they host Banbury United while Stourbridge are without a game.