Andy Peaks believes his AFC Rushden & Diamonds team can learn from their first home defeat of the season after they suffered a 2-0 loss to Rushall Olympic at Hayden Road.
Diamonds, who were without captain Liam Dolman due to personal reasons, fell behind in controversial circumstances just before half-time with boss Peaks furious with a decision to award the visitors a free-kick, which was then headed home by former Kettering Town defender Orrin Pendley.
Ex-Corby Town man Ashley Sammons grabbed Rushall’s second goal on the hour and Diamonds struggled to respond after that.
The defeat also brought to an end a six-match unbeaten run in the league.
And Peaks said: “It’s always disappointing to lose, especially at home.
“They were physical, strong and organised and did what they did well. We weren’t good enough in the final third to break them down.
“We didn’t get the bit of luck that we needed because Jack Ashton hit the post with a header and if that goes in then it’s a different game. We huffed and puffed but we can definitely play better.
“For me, it was the wrong decision for the free-kick that led to their first goal. It should have been a free-kick the other way.
“They scored from it right on the stroke of half-time and that was a major factor. It was always going to be a close game and I felt the first goal was going to be key.
“We had got into some good areas and made the wrong decisions at times and then we soaked up a bit of pressure from them but then the referee gives them that free-kick and we went in 1-0 down, which was a real whammy for us.
“The second goal was a mistake and their lad almost scuffed it in and it was always going to be difficult to come back from that.
“There will be loads of ups and downs in the season and it’s all about how you react.
“But we can learn a lot from this one. Rushall managed the game really well in the last 20 minutes and they have gone home with the three points.”
Diamonds will now look ahead to two cup matches this week as they host ON Chenecks in the quarter-finals of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup on Tuesday night before heading to Witton Albion in the second qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy next weekend.
And Peaks is focused on the midweek clash with United Counties League Premier Division side Chenecks.
“They will come here with no fear and nothing to lose but it’s important we bounce back,” he added.
“When you lose a game, it’s nice to have another one straightaway on the Tuesday.
“We are not going to beat ourselves up. We have had a nice little run, we are holding our own against most teams and we will go again.”