Marcus Law was far from disappointed with the performance of his Kettering Town players after they were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow play-off contenders Leamington.
The Poppies boss felt his team “did enough” to win the game but they were forced to settle for a point.
That wasn’t enough to keep them in the top five of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division either as Hungerford Town moved back above them after snatching a dramatic stoppage-time winner at King’s Lynn Town.
Kettering took the lead through Liam Canavan at Latimer Park before a controversial penalty gave Sam Austin the chance to level on the stroke of half-time.
Chris Carruthers brought down ex-Poppy Courtney Baker-Richardson but the Kettering players were adamant the offence happened outside the box, something Law confirmed after viewing the footage.
“I thought we did enough, I thought we played very well,” the Poppies boss said.
“We have pressurised them and you have to give credit to them for their defending and their goalkeeping and the way they grafted.
“A decision has gone against us unfortunately but decisions are only as big as the chance we had at the end of the first half when Liam (Canavan) could have tucked it away.
“The higher you go, they are the things that are the big difference - referee’s decisions, linesman’s decisions and player decisions.
“It’s the nature of the beast. Big decisions have to be made and the question is, categorically are they sure? I don’t see how they could be 100 per cent sure it was a penalty, especially after seeing it again.
“It didn’t go our way but performance-wise, we had them under the cosh.
“Has my goalkeeper had to make a save? No. They tried to play on the counter-attack and we defended well against that.
“The atmosphere was good, led by our supporters and we played with a lot of tenacity.
“Leamington hung in there and got what they wanted but I think the result suits us more than anyone.”
The Poppies are back in action tomorrow (Thursday) evening when they host already-relegated bottom markers Bedworth United.
A win will see them move above both Hungerford and Leamington into fourth place.
Don’t miss more Poppies news on this website and in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph