Willie Gibson admits Peterhead were below the standards expected of title challengers as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Clyde.
The Bully Wee triumphed at Balmoor with two late goals as the Blue Toon missed the chance to go top of League Two as leaders Edinburgh City lost 1-0 to Stirling Albion.
It means the Buchan team are still three points behind City with a game in hand and Clyde are now just two points behind Peterhead.
Midfielder Gibson said: “It’s disappointing the manner in which we lost the game with two quick goals, but Clyde deserved to win the game.
“You have got to be honest and we didn’t deserve anything. We feel hard done by because we were ahead for so long and got done by quickfire goals.
“But over the piece we didn’t deserve it – Clyde were fitter, stronger and had more movement on and off the ball.
“It wasn’t our day and I look at the standards I have set in my career and in my time at Peterhead and I wasn’t up to scratch.
“There are other boys in our team in the same boat and when you have that many not up to their usual standards it becomes a very difficult game.
“We were overrun at times, they kept throwing players forward and we couldn’t deal with it.
“They kept pushing and we couldn’t get the second goal, which would have taken the sting out of the game.
“Once they got the equaliser their tails went up and they kicked on and got the winner.
“It’s disappointing for us, but we have to brush ourselves done and move on.
“Over a season you will lose games – but we know we didn’t play well.
“Individually and collectively we have not performed, we need to get back to it in the next game.
“We are still in a good position, we have a good points total, we have our game in hand and if we win that it is still in our hands to finish top.
“League titles aren’t won in January.”
Clyde had the first chance on 20 minutes when former Aberdeen striker David Goodwillie was sent clear on the right side of the area from Jordan Stewart’s long ball.
But Greg Fleming made a fine block to keep out the effort from 10 yards and the goalie also clutched Goodwillie’s follow-up.
On the half hour Peterhead led in comedic circumstances. Mick Dunlop’s hopeful punt was chested by Stewart back towards goalie Blair Currie.
There seemed little danger, but the ball went past the advancing Currie, cannoned off the left post and Ryan DOW tapped it in before the keeper could gather.
The second half was also cagey with neither side creating clear chances.
Clyde levelled with five minutes left as Peterhead tried to hold on. Goodwillie found space on the left side of the area and cracked a shot off the left post. The ball rebounded for sub Ally LOVE to knock home.
Two minutes later the Bully Wee pinched the points when Chris McStay fed Mark LAMONT on the right side of the box and he drilled low past Fleming from 12 yards.