Chesterfield manager Paul Cook bemoaned the lack of quality from his side, as the Spireites' dreams of another miraculous cup run evaporated with a valiant 2-1 defeat against League One leaders Tranmere Rovers.
The Liverpudlian returned to his old stomping ground in austere weather conditions but his in-form side raced out of the traps and took the lead courtesy of on loan Hull City defender Liam Cooper, when he prodded home Luis Boa Morte's near post corner.
But a rampant Rovers soon hauled themselves level as youngster Cole Stockton rifled home an unstoppable 25-yard drive three minutes shy of the break, with the League Two play-off hopefuls in command.
And that gave the home side the springboard they required to get themselves in the velvet bag for tomorrow's Round Three draw, when Adam McGurk slotted home from the impressive Michael O'Halloran's cutback.
And the former Accrington boss was disappointed with the quality from his side in the final third, although he couldn't question his side's commitment.
"We're out the cup and we wish Tranmere the best of luck in the next round," he told the club's media team at full-time.
"We'll move on, we've got a big 26 games in the league now. Our support today was terrific, they got right behind the lads and they gave them full application and effort. We lacked a bit of quality today, but the effort and desire was there and we now move on to the league.
"Without a doubt, we were trying our best. We've got Tommy Lee and Liam Cooper up there at the end. Our supports don't want to see us go out with a whimper and we certainly didn't.
"But we're 12th in the league and we want to climb that league, we want promotion. We've got a good campaign ahead of us now and a week to prepare for Port Vale, which is our biggest game of the season."
Town had been in imperious form of late, stringing together three successive wins including a hard-fought 1-0 victory against struggling Plymouth Argyle in abysmal conditions at Home Park.
The win moved them within just three points of the play-off places and Cook is hoping his side can learn from the defeat at Prenton Park and bolster their promotion credentials over a busy Christmas period.
"We're very disappointed, we wanted to be in the third round," Cookie added.
"It was difficult tie, we always knew that. We came to a very good side in Tranmere, but to be 1-0 up with a couple of minutes to go before half-time and give the goal away, was very poor by us.
"We won't go into naming people, but it's not good enough. When we're in those stages of the games, decisions we make on the pitch are vital. We made a couple of bad decisions today that have ended up costing us and it's important the lads learn going forward.
"We want to make good decisions on the pitch and win football matches. If teams come at us and pass us off the pitch, we'll live with it. But sometimes when we're not doing well, we help teams and that must stop."
You can watch Cookie's interview in full exclusively on Spireites Player