Andrew Wilson was pleased with the attitude of the Corby Town players in their 2-0 home defeat to Calor League Premier Division leaders Hemel Hempstead Town.
The Steelmen were forced to play a large part of Saturday’s clash with 10 men after Paul Malone was sent off for two bookable offences in the first half.
Corby eventually finished the game with nine men as Wilson’s fellow joint-boss Tommy Wright was also shown red for two bookings late on.
The main talk afterwards was about the performance of referee Ben Cooke.
But Wilson reserved praise for his team as they battled away and still caused the table-toppers problems despite a numerical disadvantage.
“We have to applaud the lads for their attitude,” Wilson said.
“To be down to 10 men for a massive portion of the game against the league leaders is a massive task and I thought we fought hard and still played the better football.
“If that was against a team who were down at the bottom then you would always fancy nicking something from the game.
“But when you are playing a team who are flying and scoring goals for fun, it makes it harder.
“That was the least number of goals they had scored in a game for a long time. We kept them at bay with only 10 men and that is a credit to us.
“But it didn’t feel like it was a fair game. I would have liked to have seen 11 against 11 and then see if they are better than us. Unfortunately, we will never know.”
Saturday’s clash only got the go ahead after a morning pitch inspection with part of the Steel Park surface still suffering after drainage problems earlier in the season.
And while Wilson felt the pitch held up well, he believes the New Year’s Day clash with Cambridge City could be in doubt if more wet weather arrives.
“I think that the pitch, considering how it has been, held up okay,” he added.
“It now depends on the weather between now and Wednesday. If we get a downpour then I think it will struggle.”