Peterhead defender Mick Dunlop insists there is no time for his team-mates to feel sorry for themselves after they suffered their second defeat in a row.
A hat-trick from former Aberdeen striker Declan McManus gave Falkirk a 3-1 win against the Blue Toon at Balmoor on Saturday to leave Jim McInally’s side in eighth place, two points ahead of the play-off place.
With Dumbarton next up at Balmoor on January 25, Dunlop knows his side must bounce back.
He said: “It’s tough playing two full-time teams back-to-back but there are no excuses.
“We fought so hard to win League 2 last year to get the opportunity to play these teams and it doesn’t matter if you play them first, last or in the middle, you have to play them all.
“We just have to take this on the chin, dust ourselves down and get back to winning ways against Dumbarton in a couple of weeks.
“The top three or four are in their own battle but it’s very tight between the rest of the teams. Any side on their day can beat each other and it’s really competitive.
“When you come up you have to get as many points as you can to stay up then try to see where you can finish after that and that is what we are trying to do.”
Falkirk put the home side under pressure from the opening whistle and their early pressure paid off when they made the breakthrough in the 10th minute.
Former Dundee United midfielder Morgaro Gomis was denied by a superb Mick Dunlop tackle but the ball broke to on-loan Ross County striker McManus inside the penalty area and he fired past Greg Fleming.
The visitors built on their strong start by doubling their lead in the 24th minute and it was then McManus who got the goal, firing into the bottom corner after a clever stepover from Connor Sammon.
But the Blue Toon hit back immediately as Bairns defender Mark Durnan scored an own goal, firing high into his own net when trying to cut out Dunlop’s downward header.
Durnan almost restored his side’s two-goal lead five minutes into the second half, but his glancing header from Charlie Telfer’s corner was wide.
Falkirk kept the pressure on as they chased another goal and Fleming did well to deny Telfer after he had ran clear on goal, but the Bairns made it 3-1 just after the hour mark as the Blue Toon were reduced to 10 men.
David Ferguson gave the spot-kick away when he hauled Connolly to the ground, earning an early bath in the process, and it was McManus who converted for his hat-trick.
Dunlop knows Ferguson’s dismissal ended his side’s hopes of a comeback.
He said: “We gave away two poor goals but regrouped and got back in the game with the set piece which was good. Up to half-time there wasn’t much in it, but to be fair they put us under pressure at the start of the second half.
“The penalty, sending off and goal ended the game and Falkirk ran out comfortable winners but it’s disappointing as once we got the goal to get back into it there wasn’t much in the game.
“The plan was to try to keep it at 2-1 for a while and if we got a chance hopefully we could take it. When a team goes 2-0 up and is pegged back to 2-2 there is a lot of pressure on them, but Falkirk put us under pressure which is disappointing.”