Gainsborough Trinity boss Lee Sinnott said his promotion-chasing squad needed to bounce back after their seven-match unbeaten run was unexpectedly halted at home to 10-men Buxton.
Trinity went down 2-1, only scoring in injury time, but Sinnott said they had to take the defeat on the chin.
“It was a disappointing result and performance. In a creative aspect that probably rates as one of our least productive of the season,” he said.
“A chance has gone by to climb the table and creep into second and third position. But we have got to take it on the chin.
“The squad has had two good unbeaten runs this season and it is our job to start another one.”
The defeat left Trinity fifth in the Evo-Stik NPL, but still only two points off second-placed Scarborough Athletic, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Whitby Town.
Trinity had fallen behind in the 20th minute to a goal from former Trinity player Callum Chippendale as Buxton made the most of the strong wind in their favour.
Two minutes before half-time Buxton’s Brad Roscoe was dismissed in an incident that saw Trinity’s Alex Byrne booked.
Visiting keeper Theo Roberts made two fines saves at the start of the second period, but Gainsborough boss Sinnott said his side failed to make the most of having the conditions in their favour.
Buxton doubled their lead from the penalty-spot in the 78th minute when Chippendale converted after a mistake by Nathan Stainfield.
Jonathan Margetts, who had missed chances, slotted home at the back post in injury time — his first goal since his return to the club for a third spell — but by then it was too little too late for Trinity.
Sinnott added: “It was our fifth loss and these things can happen.
“We didn’t do enough of making use of the whole park, even against 10 men.
“Full credit to Buxton, they marshalled themselves well but we we dipped below our standards.
“The manner of our forward play contributed a lot to the defeat.”
Captain Shane Clarke added: “We were all disappointed. We wanted to carry on the unbeaten run but it didn’t happen.
“We probably tried to force the issue too much to get back into the game.
“Now we have got to go again at the weekend.
“It wasn’t a good performance but we can only affect next week now.”
Clarke said Trinity were punished for giving away two sloppy goals and not taking the few chances they had.
“Everyone is frustrated but we have all got to stick together and keep going, and aee if we can get another unbeaten run.
“We have confidence in our ability and we want to go to Whitby and put this right.”
In November, Trinity turned a 1-0 half-time deficit at home to Whitby into a comprehensive 4-1 victory, thanks to one of their best 45 minutes of the season so far.
Clarke said they could draw on that experience and try to start another unbeaten run.
Trinity’s festive programme includes a Boxing Day home match against Grantham Town and a New Year’s Day trip to Matlock Town.