Joey Barton felt his Fleetwood Town side tossed away what would have been a hard-earned point at Burton Albion.
READ MORE: Fleetwood fall to late sucker punch at Burton
Ryan Edwards pounced to score an 89th-minute Brewers winner at the Pirelli Stadium on a day of precious few clear-cut chances for either side.
Barton and his players held a dressing-room inquest which lasted an hour after the final whistle.
When the Town boss emerged, he said: “We weren’t fantastic in the first period and we were forced to ride our luck a couple of times, but even then we probably had the best two chances of the half.
“Wes (Burns) went through twice, though he didn’t manage to work the goalkeeper, so he’ll be disappointed with that.
“In these type of games you always know the first goal is going to be decisive, and we felt we came out in the second half and gained more territory and possession after I tweaked the shape slightly.
“To get done late on, though, following a throw-in and then a cross into our box, is really, really disappointing.
“I told the lads after the game that we’d thrown a point away.
At that stage of the game there wasn’t much happening and we should be closing the game out.
“Yes, we should still be trying to win the game but we certainly shouldn’t be losing it. It’s a point dropped, so we’re all really disappointed.”
The hosts carved out the more presentable chances in the first half as Oliver Sarkic twice forced Alex Cairns into decent saves.
Burns had Town’s best opportunity but dragged an angled strike wide after a slip by Burton full-back Colin Daniel.
Barton’s men failed to test keeper Kieran O’Hara in the second half and Edwards’ strike pulled the Brewers level with 10th-placed Town.
But despite slipping down the table Barton’s men are still right in the play-off hunt, only two points adrift of sixth-placed Sunderland with a game in hand or two on all but one of the teams above them.
“That’s how League One is going this season,” added Barton. “You look at the results again this weekend and it’s just a crazy league.
“We knew it would be tough coming to Burton. We beat them 4-1 at our place but we knew they were a better side than that.
“You have to play much better in many aspects of your game, but here we were second-best in departments you just can’t afford to be second-best in.
“We’ve lost this game, and given up a point and a clean sheet. It is just one point dropped, though.
“I didn’t read the riot act or anything like that after the game.
“It was just a case of explaining that we can’t afford to keep giving hard-earned points on the road away like this, certainly not in the last couple of minutes of games.
“Certainly you will not get promoted out of this division unless you are a very difficult team to beat.”