Kettering ended a miserable week with a home defeat by Grimsby Town.
The Poppies were put under a transfer embargo and moved on five members of their squad on loan.
Liam Hearn gave Grimsby a first-half lead, beating Aldi Haxhia at his near post and then scored his second after being put through by Michael Coulson.
An injury-time header from David Bridges gave the hosts hope and Nathan Koo-Boothe missed a great chance to level from only six yards out.
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Kettering Town manager Mark Stimson tells BBC Radio Northampton:
"When I look back on it, there will be some positives. At the moment it's hard to take, because we've lost the game and right at the death, we could've got the equaliser we possibly deserved.
"I can't ask any more from the players or the supporters today. They showed what the football club is all about - in times like this, you can feel sorry for yourself (but) the supporters were vocal and the players gave it their best.
"We did fall short in a couple of areas and maybe in the top end of the pitch, but we've had three strikers go this week."
Grimsby manager Rob Scott told BBC Radio Humberside:
"We had several chances to make it 3-0 or 4-0.
"The nature of football (is) when you don't take chances, it can come back to haunt you.
"It's not a mental thing, you just put the ball in the box and someone didn't do their job."