Paul Cook admitted his team did not play well enough as an injury time goal gave Leyton Orient a 3-2 victory over Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium.
Caolan Lavery won a penalty for the Spireites in the 19th minute which Jay O’Shea converted, but the away side were level before half-time with the first of a brace from striker David Mooney.
An own goal gave Chesterfield their lead back shortly after the break but Mooney’s second and a late winner from Dean Cox saw Orient snatch all three points.
Cook said: “We never played well. We’ve been on top for large periods of games recently but today we were a bit flat. It’s up to us to get up and get ourselves going again.
“We scored goals at great times, the penalty and the fortuitous own goal, but we failed to hold on.
“We make no excuses, great credit to Orient as they came here and got a good result. They’ve got some good players and although I’m not saying their league position is false, they’ve got quality in their squad and it shows how far we’ve come to be expected to win this game.”
Spireites ‘keeper Tommy Lee made a number of good saves throughout the match, but failed to hold onto a late cross from the Orient right-wing, allowing Cox to prod home the winner from close range.
Cook said: “Goalkeepers have to go through these things; it’s the nature of the game. If Tendayi [Darikwa] had cleared it then no one would even be speaking about it.
“Unfortunately, ‘keepers get punished but we’ve all got great faith in Tommy and how good a ‘keeper he is. When he needs backing, we’ll back him.”
Cook’s men travel to Scunthorpe United on Tuesday night and will be looking to bounce back from two home defeats in five days.
He said: “They’re all tough games at the minute. We’re in a little transitional period after Eoin Doyle’s gone and new lads are coming in and finding their feet but we’ll work hard and we’ll do our best at Scunthorpe.”