Marcus Law has admitted it will now be “hard” for Kettering Town to finish in the play-off places in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division after they slipped further off the pace following a 3-2 defeat at second-placed Slough Town.
The Poppies trailed 3-0 after 57 minutes as the hosts stormed ahead thanks to two goals from Charlie Moone and one from James Dobson.
Kettering’s fightback came far too late with Aaron O’Connor and Rene Howe on target.
Law’s men now sit in 10th place and are 10 points off the top five with less than half of the season remaining.
And he admitted the Poppies were disappointed with “the way we went about our business” at Arbour Park.
“We didn’t do the basics well enough, we tried to be too clever and we got punished for it,” the Kettering manager said.
“With the first goal, I have got people around me telling me it is three yards offside.
“But we have stood still, we haven’t reacted and we’ve let the lad run on and waited for a whistle.
“Then, with the second, the lad has had a swing at it and missed and it has landed for him again and he’s buried it.
“It’s very disappointing because I thought we were better in the second half but we have left it way too late to try to get back into it.
“We are disappointed with the way we have gone about our business.
“We felt confident going into it but we didn’t implement the things that have made us successful away from home this season.”
“We are 10 points off it (the play-off places).
“It’s going to be hard, it’s attainable but it is going to be difficult.
“All we can do is concentrate on the next two games over the Christmas period and see what position we find ourselves in going into the new year.”
The Poppies will return to action on Boxing Day with a clash against King’s Lynn Town at Latimer Park.