Andy Peaks was left to reflect on a “missed opportunity” as AFC Rushden & Diamonds had their FA Cup dreams ended by Barwell.
A header from Brady Hickey was enough to give the Evo-Stik Northern League Premier Division club a 1-0 victory in front of a record crowd of 1,162 at the Dog & Duck last night.
Diamonds had earned a second chance thanks to a dramatic last-gasp equaliser in Leicestershire at the weekend.
But they were second best in the fourth qualifying round replay as Barwell reached the proper stages of the competition for the first time in their history.
And Diamonds boss Peaks conceded he was disappointed with the way his team performed.
“We are obviously disappointed not to get through,” Peaks said.
“I was disappointed with the way we played in some respects.
“I thought we were better in the second half. I thought in the first half we were poor and didn’t pass the ball as well as we can do.
“Second half, we had a bit of a go and they scored from one of their few attempts.
“We have played them twice and I don’t think we have played well either time.
“Is that because we didn’t take responsibility by getting on the ball? Or was it because they limited what we can do? You have to give them a bit of respect. They are a decent side from the level above.
“It’s been a great run and I am proud of what we have done. I just feel a little bit flat that we didn’t play better. The lads are disappointed as well.
“I didn’t think a great deal fell for us and they maybe had that bit of luck that we didn’t get.
“The games were even and I actually think it’s a missed opportunity for us.”
Don’t miss more Diamonds news in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph