Peterhead learned the hard way that mistakes will be punished in League One after defeat by Dumbarton.
And Jack Leitch insists they have to heed the warnings of Saturday’s collapse – to lose 3-2 – in the weeks ahead.
The Blue Toon were leading the Sons 2-0 at Balmoor on Saturday after a bright first period.
But they were stung by a goal just before half-time and after the break Dumbarton found another gear to come back and claim the three points.
The way the Buchan outfit crumbled in the second period was concerning and Leitch says Peterhead need to learn from it.
The 24-year-old midfielder said: “There are definitely lessons that need to be learned.
“League One is a step up from League Two and we knew that anyway, but it’s been shown to our cost.
“Dumbarton came up and scored three goals so they deserve credit.
“But we can’t allow it to happen – if we score two goals at home we should be winning the game.
“We can’t afford to concede three goals at this level because the teams we’re playing have good players, so we need to manage games better.
“We also need to be more ruthless when chances come because we could have been further ahead before we conceded.”
Frustration was the overriding feeling in the League Two champions’ dressing room on Saturday.
Leitch says Jim McInally’s men didn’t hit the standards they expect as a team in a below-par second half.
The former Motherwell and Airdrieonians man added: “There was a lot of frustration in the dressing room after the game.
“We started aggressively on the front foot and got an early goal, which was good, and added a third.
“I had a chance for a goal as well, but the defender made a good tackle and Rory McAllister was pushed and probably should have had a penalty.
“But Dumbarton scored at a crucial time just before half-time and it gave them hope going into the second half.
“Then we were poor in the second half – it wasn’t good enough for the standards we have set before.
“We need to look at a few things and see how we can improve because what we produced in the second half wasn’t good enough.”
After midfielder Simon Ferry came off early in the second half due to a foot injury, Peterhead lost much of the control on proceedings they had enjoyed in the first half.
Leitch is already looking ahead to this Saturday’s home clash with Forfar Athletic as the Blue Toon look to put the pain of Saturday’s result behind them.
He said: “It was disappointing how we lost control in the second half because we had played really well in the first half.
“The only disappointment was conceding a goal and we maybe could have added a couple more ourselves.
“But I don’t really know what happened in the second half because it wasn’t like us and we need to look at what went wrong.
“We want to put it right next week because it was a painful result for us.”