Joint-manager Andrew Wilson cut a frustrated figure after Corby Town’s FA Cup run was ended in a 2-1 defeat to Dover Athletic in the first round proper at Steel Park.
The Steelmen were made to pay for not taking their chances in the first half as the Skrill South side killed the tie off with two goals in the space of 10 second-half minutes.
Chris Carruthers pulled one back in stoppage-time and there was almost a grandstand finish when Tom Berwick shot wide with virtually the last kick of the match.
But it all came too late and Wilson admitted the fact his team showed at times they were more than a match for their higher-ranked opponents was what hurt him the most.
“We are gutted we are out,” the Steelmen joint-boss said.
“It’s not every week you can play in a game of that magnitude and the atmosphere in the build-up was fantastic with the work the volunteers did to get help get the game on.
“The fans were awesome on the day and I am only sorry we didn’t get that goal we wanted in the first half.
“I thought we were the better team in the first half and but for their goalkeeper, I think we would have gone in winning the game.
“But it just shows that if you don’t take your chances when they come then it can come back to bite you on the behind.
“They were better in the second half and we have not defended two crosses. We are disappointed in our own defensive duties.
“If a team had completely battered us then we could have turned round and said ‘do you know what, they were better than us’.
“No disrespect to Dover, but I don’t think they are that much better than us and that is what hurts.
“Our goal came just a bit too late for us. If it had come five minutes earlier then we might have had a couple of other chances to get a draw. Tom Berwick had a chance at the end but it wasn’t to be for us.”
Despite the defeat, Corby are able to look back on a good run in this season’s competition, which started in the first qualifying round.
And Wilson added: “It has been a great run and we we will learn from it and build from it.
“It is a great achievement to get to the first round and we are gutted because we felt we could have won the game.
“Unless the DVD tells me differently, I believe we are as good as them and that is the most frustrating thing.”
Corby return to action with two more home games this week as a NFA Hillier Senior Cup clash with Sileby Rangers on Wednesday night is followed by a Calor League Premier Division encounter with Weymouth on Saturday.