Marcus Law was left “bitterly disappointed” after Kettering Town’s play-off hopes suffered what could prove to be a fatal blow at Redditch United last night (Monday).
The Poppies were beaten 2-1 at the Valley Stadium, their second defeat in a row, and are now facing an uphill task to make it into the top five.
They must win their last two games of the season - at home to Bideford on Thursday and away at Dorchester Town on Saturday - and then hope for help from elsewhere over the next few days as they currently sit five points off the play-off positions.
Kettering were unable to recover from a first half that saw goalkeeper Craig Hill concede two penalties, which were converted by Ashley Sammons.
The Poppies piled the pressure on in the second half and pulled one back through a Wilson Carvalho spot-kick.
But they were unable to find a way through, much to the frustration of boss Law.
“I thought the first half was even in terms of possession but in terms of clear-cut chances and looking a threat I thought we were better and Rene Howe and David Popa have both had good opportunities,” the Poppies boss said.
“There was a rush of blood from our goalkeeper for the first penalty and on the second one, I thought he was unlucky because the backspin on the ball made it look like he had misjudged it.
“But I can’t have any complaints about the penalties, both were and there are no arguments.
“But I also can’t have any complaints at what our boys did after that.
“We pressurised them for 45 minutes in the second half, we got the goal and then we couldn’t find a way through.
“Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition and Redditch deserve that for the way their defenders and goalkeeper held firm.
“In terms of effort and ability, I thought we were good as we have been for the majority of the past few games.
“We certainly won’t be giving up while there is still a chance but clearly we are now not in control of what happens and that’s bitterly disappointing for the fans, the players and me.”