Chris Moyses said his Alfreton Town side were not good enough with the ball as he tasted defeat for the first time at the helm of the Reds.
“l don’t think we were really at it 100% if l’m going to be honest,” he said after a 2-1 National League North defeat at Gainsborough Trinity.
“l just think we weren’t good enough with the ball, not brave enough with the ball.
“We made too many wrong decisions.”
The Reds, who were sucked closer to the drop-zone by their relegation rivals’ late winner, had to change the way they played when Tom Allan went off early.
Moyses said: “That affected the way we had set up.
“We shouldn’t have lost — a point was the minimum requirement.
“They filled their midfield — 4-5-1 — and we got drawn in to that midfield mayhem, which affected the momentum in which we got up the pitch.
“No disrespect to Gainsborough, they have worked hard to get the result that they wanted.
“We got dragged in to a battle that we didn’t need to.”
Early chances for the Reds saw Brendon Daniels, Ryan Jennings and Kegan Everington go close, while Chris Sharp forced home keeper Henrich Ravas to tip over his header from an offside position.
The hosts snatched the lead with their first productive foray into Alfreton territory.
It was a 31st minute corner that was the outcome of Cieron Keane’s block from Shane Clarke, which led to the opening goal.
The ball was worked to former Reds’ striker Nathan Jarman, whose shot from the edge of the area cannoned off the upright to beat Chris Elliott.
Alfreton levelled on the hour.
Daniels whipped in a precise cross for Luke Shiels to head home at the back post after the move started from a Daniels’ corner that was only partially cleared.
However, Gainsborough had the last word with 11 minutes remaining, when a sliced clearance allowed Jarman to send Craig King through to score from 16 yards with Alfreton’s defence momentarily caught out of position.
The Reds tried hard to salvage a point but could not breach a determined Trinity rearguard.
Daniels went closest to a second leveller a free-kick on 90 minutes.
Moyses added: “lt’s good to test our character and we got back level.
“Then there was a sliced clearance that flew over the heads of the centre-halves and the lad’s smashed it in [for the winning goal].
“ l’m disappointed that no-one got close enough to stop him scoring.”
Alfreton were forced to start the game without Tom Platt, who picked up an injury the previous Tuesday.
Moyses said: “He had to have a stitch in his foot and [Elliot] Hodge’s head injury meant he has to miss the game through FA guidelines, but it’s a good squad,
“I’ve always said that we need to get better and we will do.
“We haven’t moved in the table (Alfreton are 14th), but with 14 games remaining we need to win at least six [to be safe].”
The defeat left them five points ahead of third-from-bottom Trinity in the battle to avoid relegation.
The Reds are next in action in the league on 10th February when Tamworth, two points and one place above them, are the visitors.
GAINSBOROUGH: Ravas; Vann, Davie, Richards, Beatson, Jacklin, C. King [Bateson 90+1], Clarke [Stainfield 88], Jarman [Wells 79], Worsfold, L. King.
Other subs: Russell, Simmons.
ALFRETON TOWN: Elliott; Wood, Shiels, Bird, Allan [Marshall 28], Keane, Disley, Everington [Johnson 90+1], Jennings, Daniels, Sharp [Westcarr 79].
Other subs: Topliss, Baxendale.
Referee: Mr Samuel Barrott.