Ray Mathias admitted emotions got the better of Stockport as their season ended with a 1-1 draw against Cheltenham.
Greg Tansey scored a last-gasp penalty to cancel out Brian Smikle's first-half opener, but the most remarkable event came five minutes from the end when Hatters fans invaded the pitch and held a sit-down protest in the centre-circle following Stockport's106-year stay in the Football League came to an end.
Caretaker boss Mathias said: "It was an emotional day and I think it really got to our players.
"In the first half we just didn't compete and I really had a go at our lads at half-time. The second half was better, we were a bit more threatening going forward and the persistence paid off at the end.
"They can complain about the penalty, but I'm sure they've had decisions in their favour this season as well, and we certainly feel that we've been hard done by refereeing decisions on a number of occasions."
He added: "The protest was disappointing but I have to compliment the players on the way they came out after the stoppage and showed a lot of character. I can understand the fans' frustrations, they're only feeling like any fans would in this situation, but the club could get a fine now so it only causes more problems."