Peterhead boss Jim McInally was left to rue poor defending as their title hopes took a dent with a loss to Montrose.
Despite leading twice at Links Park the Blue Toon were defeated to fall three points behind the Gable Endies, who have a game in hand, at the top of League Two.
McInally said: “It was poor defending and we paid the price for that really.
“From middle to front I thought we played well and we didn’t deserve to lose the game – but that’s what happens when you defend as badly as that.
“We were unlucky not to get something out of it at the end.
“But we pay the price for bad defending.
“The first goal was comic cuts stuff and it totally changes the game.
“Then we came back in, scored again and took the initiative.
“Then the second goal was a terrible free-kick the referee gave because Willie Gibson had a good tackle.
“One of our players didn’t match his runner and the third goal was just a joke as far as defending goes.
“Even in the last 10 minutes we played some good stuff and the goalie had a really good save to deny us a draw.
“And even Stewart Petrie thought we should have had a penalty.
“It’s disappointing but if we don’t win it (the title), it’s not on Saturday that we didn’t win it.
“We’ve had two home games against Berwick where we’ve slipped up and with all due respect to Berwick if you want to win leagues you need to be winning at least one of those games.”
McInally concedes they need slip-ups elsewhere from Montrose.
He added: “Of course they have the initiative.
“I said to my players that we have six games left and we need to win all six of them.
“That might not be enough because this team have got a terrific spirit about them, they’re very resilient and they keep going so you can’t really expect them to slip up too much.
“They’ve got a lot of hard fixtures and there could be some twists and turns.
“But they are favourites and it’s up to them. But I would say we need to win all our games.
“Stirling Albion are still in the hunt which is probably good for us because Montrose still have to go there.
“My players need to lift themselves because there are only six games left and there’s still a chance they could do it.”