Horndean brought the curtain down on their Wessex League premier division season with a 2-0 defeat at Newport IOW.
However, the Deans boss reckoned his weakened side were ‘worth a point’.
Both sides had done what they could to entertain fans in bitterly cold conditions at St Georges Park.
Sadly, though, the 100 or so who turned up had to wait until the 74th minute before they had something to cheer.
Newport striker Kyle Levier and Darren Powell created an opening for Iain Seabrook to turn the ball into the Horndean net from close range.
And just before the final whistle, they were out of their seats again when substitute Jared Wetheric met a cross from Powell to beat Deans keeper Simon Howard.
Carter believes the result was harsh on his men, though.
But not because he made the trip across to the island without some of his key players.
‘No excuses, said the boss.
‘We went across to Newport short of some key players but even without them I thought the lads were worth a point.
‘The important thing for this season is we have finished well outside the relegation area and can now plan ahead. Yes, it was disappointing to come away with nothing but at least the lads kept going until the final whistle.’
It was every inch an end-of-season contest – with the result having no bearing on either side’s position in the table.
For the opening 45 minutes, Newport employed the route one approach and the Deans swallowed it up with ease.
Neil Perkins and his fellow full-back Simon Stone were outstanding for Carter’s side.
As was creative midfielder Dan Hayes, who hardly put a foot wrong all game.
The creativity of both Hayes and Gavin Spurway was generally wasted by a shot-shy forward line, though.
The nearest they came to a goal in the first hour was a Louis Bell shot saved Cameron Farley.
Tony Worsfold later chipped a cross against the crossbar but once Spurway was forced out of the fray with an ankle injury, Newport took over.
Jack Warren and Stone went close to an equaliser before Gary Austin brought another fine save from Farley.
It was all in vain, though, as Newport broke late on to complete the win.
Horndean: Howard, Perkins, Stone, Hayes, Worfold, Warren, Fennemore, Spurway, Bell, Austin, Buller. Subs: May, Chapman, Carter, Cansfield, Fenelon
– DAVE KEMP