Crawley Town manager Mark Yates lamented his side’s lack of quality after their 2-1 defeat to Northampton on Tuesday.
Joel Byrom’s header and John-Joe O’Toole’s wonder strike put the Cobblers two ahead before Simon Walton’s second half spot-kick resurrected hope of a Crawley fightback.
The home side’s cause was helped by a red card to Cobblers defender Brendan Moloney, however Town held on for another three points.
Yates said afterwards: “We showed a lot of character and show a lot of spirit and almost got back in the game.
“There are some disappointed players in the dressing room and rightly so, we should be disappointed but not too downhearted.
“We have come up against a good side and we have just fallen short.
“We weren’t quite at it first half, they probably only had three chances and stuck two of them in the back of the net.
“But the pleasing thing is we didn’t give up, we gave the crowd something to cheer and get excited about and they saw the effort they put in.
“We showed a lot of quality in the second half in terms our ability to battle, our ability to fight our way back into games and stick in games.
“Even in the 94th minute we were still trying to get something out of the game and I can’t fault them for that.”
Yates expressed his disappointment at the decision to award Northampton a fourth-minute penalty when Lawson D’Ath was clipped by Walton.
Though Marc Richards missed the spot-kick, Byrom was on hand to nod home the rebound.
“The first real play they have had they have scored from,” added Yates. “We didn’t deal with a free-kick to start with and they played off that with a good bit of play in the corner.
“I don’t think Walts has caught him, I think he has just gone over his leg. I thought it was pretty innocuous.
“First half we were a little sloppy in possession and allowed them to press us and to look a really good side and they did.
“We conceded again from nothing really. We have had chances second half, we have come out and changed it with Shamir’s pace causing them problems.
“We got the penalty and had a few other good chances, but unfortunately lacked a little touch of quality when we really needed it.”
“With what has happened to them with the takeover, it was just going to be their night.”