Todd Lumsden was left lamenting the loss his side’s impressive winning run as Arbroath lost 2-0 to Annan Athletic.
Peter Weatherson’s volley and Ricky Little’s unfortunate own goal left the Lichties with a mountain to climb.
And the mountains at the back of the Galabankies’ defence didn’t make it an easy task for Arbroath, who were repelled time and time again.
On the two occasions they did breach the dogged backline, they had goals disallowed for offside in a pair of contentious decisions.
It was an infuriating afternoon for the Lichties fans and the manager.
Lumsden said: “I’m a bit sick to be honest. At the end of the day, the only stats that count in football are goals scored and against. They scored two more than us which is disappointing.
“Our keeper only had one save to make in the game and we’ve lost two goals from set pieces in the second phase, which is disappointing.
“To be fair they’ve done a good job, they defended well when they got their goals. Credit to them. We didn’t move the ball enough from side to side, we didn’t work their box and we didn’t test their keeper enough, for all the possession we’ve had. It’s very disappointing.
“You have to give them credit, they sat deep and they’ve got big defenders who defend well, they like to defend. They throw their bodies in the way of the ball constantly. That’s where we need to be a bit cleverer, move the ball more quickly and put the ball into more clever places. We have to keep probing and moving. There was only one team in it but the only stat that matters is goals, and we’ve lost.
“I think if the penalty goes in it absolutely changes the game. Goals win games. After five minutes getting a penalty is a great start, you’d put your house on Bobby scoring there but these things happen.
“We didn’t get to grip with the game then we’ve lost two goals. Then we did well, we passed it through them at times and we just didn’t quite do enough.
“It wasn’t even the first phase at the corners for the goals, it’s second phase so the players need to keep to their man and make sure the ball is cleared. It’s a deflection for the first one and Weatherson’s done well. In terms of effort and endeavour, I couldn’t have asked for more from the players. They worked their socks off, we just couldn’t get it over the line.”