Tommy Wright was almost at a loss to explain how Corby Town were unable to find the back of the net as their FA Cup hopes were ended for another season.
The Steelmen suffered another early exit in the competition as Andy Gooding’s second-minute penalty proved to be enough to give lower-ranked Rugby Town a 1-0 success at Butlin Road.
But the final scoreline didn’t tell the full story as Corby created a host of chances but were unable to finish them off as home goalkeeper Louis Connor produced an outstanding display to help keep them out.
It means Wright’s team have now scored just one goal in their six games in all competitions so far this season.
But while their attacking intent may have been questioned previously, it certainly couldn’t on this occasion as they dominated for long periods.
“A lot of people will point to the fact that we haven’t scored a goal,” Wright said.
“But people who were at the game will be asking the question ‘how did we not score a goal?’
“We have probably created 50 chances! We have had four or five off the line, six penalty appeals and their goalkeeper has had a blinder.
“The half-time team talk was probably the most relaxed I have been because we had played well.
“I just wanted the same again and that’s what they gave me. I am looking at them and I can’t pick faults in them, other than the fact that we made a really stupid decision to put a hand on someone in the first minute of the game.
“But I really couldn’t have asked for more from that group of players.”
Wright was furious that referee Andrew Dallison failed to award his team a penalty with the likes of Callum Ball, Femi Orenuga and Cleveland Taylor all having appeals waved away.
“I don’t understand how we haven’t scored a goal and won a game and why the referee has decided not to give a penalty for us but not booked one of our players for simulation,” he added.
“I thought their penalty was soft and he set his standard from then on. I think the occasion got the better of him.
“I just wish that the referees at this level and above would have a bit more consistency.
“They look shell-shocked that they get a bit of stick.
“But you earn respect and when you make bad decisions that are so blatant, it’s hard for the lads to ignore it because they are sick and tired of decisions going against them and losing games of football.”
Wright, meanwhile, confirmed later on last night that Taylor has stepped down as assistant-manager of the club to focus solely on playing for the club.