Head coach David Ripley knows Northants came up short in too many areas as they fell to a final-day defeat at Kent.
The County were beaten by 102 runs in the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at Canterbury.
Northants were bowled out for 217 on the final day, adding to their 105 all out in the first innings.
It meant Kent could celebrate what was a comfortable victory.
And Ripley said: “We wanted to test ourselves against Kent, and the challenge was to compete with them over the whole game. We did compete well in parts of the game, but in other areas of it we came up short and that’s where the match was lost.
“It’s been the pattern of our season, really. We’ve played some good cricket at times but we’ve also lost some key moments heavily and this game was a repeat of that.”
Northants have won just three of their 11 matches in the Championship so far this season and are well adrift of the promotion battle.
But Kent are right in the mix and their head coach, Matt Walker, was a happy man after his side's latest win was sealed on Friday afternoon.
“It was not a straightforward task today," Walker said. "It took quite a bit of hard work because the pitch flattened out very quickly and in the end it took a lot of skill and patience to break the wall down, if you like.
“Before lunch we drifted a little bit in the field and took our foot off the gas. Perhaps we started to expect things to happen. But after lunch we showed a bit more attitude, energy and desire and we stuck at it out there until the wickets came."