A despondent Adam Murray admitted his side shot themselves in the foot as Mansfield went down 1-0 at bottom of the table Hartlepool.
Martin Riley conceded the decisive penalty – stuck home by Brad Walker – early in the second-half, before Junior Brown was red-carded with half an hour remaining for a challenge in the air.
“You cannot start the half like we did and then go to ten men – it made it even more of a struggle,” said the Stags’ player-manager.
“It was always going to be tough but we made it harder for ourselves. We beat ourselves.
“We didn’t stick to the basics, the things you need to come here and do well. We shot ourselves in the foot today.
“The red card, he hasn’t gone to hurt him, he’s gone for the ball – it’s one of them. Yellow yes. He’s not gone to do what he did and hopefully the referee will look at it again.”