Mansfield Town boss John Dempster believes luck had nothing to do with his side leaving Crawley empty-handed, despite a deflected shot giving the home side all three points.
Conrad Logan helped the Stags go into the break all square with a first-half penalty save, but he could do nothing about Bez Lubala’s 53rd-minute effort which proved to be the winner for the hosts.
“The game was a bit like a tennis match,” said Dempster. “The ball was going back and forth.
“Both teams had plenty of opportunities and in the end, the game was decided by a deflected goal that Conrad Logan could do nothing about.
“We’re desperately disappointed that we haven’t come out of the game with at least a point, but essentially we’ve got to take responsibility for those moments in games when you’re expecting to make one of those fine margins count.
“Too often this season we’ve not been able to do that.”
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And added: “We haven’t been clinical in front of goal but at times we have been clinical in front of goal and sloppy at the back.
“The combination between the two isn’t good but it’s my job along with the staff to bring that together.
“If we do that we know we’ll be a force but what we don’t want is to be a team, looking at today’s game, to say we were unlucky today.
“We created opportunities and they’ve won by a deflected goal.
“Over time it’s not bad luck, over a period of time it’s about making those inches count and so far this season we’ve fallen short.”