David Ripley admits it was a first day of two halves as Northants hit a huge stumbling block against Sussex at the County Ground.
Sussex slipped to 68 for six, but they rebuilt in some style as Ben Brown (153 not out) and Chris Jordan (158 not out) both hit unbeaten centuries.
It meant the away side finished the first day of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash on 370 for six.
And Northants head coach Ripley said: “It was the old game of two halves.
"We bowled well and put the ball in the right place and got a good foothold in the game.
“But then we missed Chris Jordan first ball at slip and at 87 for seven and into the bowlers that was a key moment and they made us pay.
“We stuck to our task well and didn’t give much away but it wasn’t too clear how we were going to take a wicket as the partnership got going and we got a bit defensive."
Ben Sanderson took three for 71 for Northants, but it was to be Sussex batsmen Brown and Jordan who stole the show.
And Jordan said: “I just tried to keep a free mind and tried not to look too far ahead and get the partnership going.
“I’ve been doing quite a bit of work away with England and felt good, and me and Browny complimented each other well.
“We’re two different types of players who hit in different areas so they were always having to change their lengths against us.
“I worked so hard all day for chance to play those on-drives at the end of the day and I’m very grateful to get a personal best.”