Jim McInally laid the blame for Peterhead’s 1-0 loss to Forfar on their “nowhere near good enough” first-half perfomance.
The Blue Toon, looking for consecutive home wins after beating Dumbarton, had several chances at Balmoor, especially after the break, but could not find a way to cancel out Bobby Barr’s 45th-minute header for the Loons.
McInally, who bemoaned the lack of intensity and mistakes made by his team before the break, said: “If you look at the stats, we’re unlucky. But if I look at our players and how we played in the first half, it’s not good enough.
“That’s how you lose football matches.
“When you see how we can play in the second half, how we pinned them back – we just didn’t do well enough with our final cross, our final ball let us down a wee bit and we never worked the goalkeeper enough.
“Their goalkeeper never had a wonderful game. It was into his arms or over the bar.
“He might have saved the one in the first half. We should have scored from the first corner. Steven Boyd from close range hits it off somebody
“It’s disappointing, after last week you want to follow up. We’ve got two home games and now we’re into a run of tough fixtures away at the two big teams (Falkirk and Partick Thistle) and then in between that is East Fife.
“It’s tough league and it’s going to be tough all season.”
Centre-back Jason Brown returned from suspension for the visit of the Loons, while veteran defender Gary MacKenzie was back in the matchday squad.
MacKenzie was sent on for Kyle Bailey at half-time and his experience helped Peterhead hem in the visitors.
McInally, who made the change after seeing Forfar given a free header for their goal, said: “At half-time I couldn’t get Gary on quick enough. You can see the presence he brings to us just with being there.
“It’s good to get him back in and hopefully he can help us defensively.
“We weren’t too bad, but that bit of experience is required.”
The first home chance fell to Steven Boyd on four minutes, with the former Hamilton man poking the ball at goal following a stramash from Ryan Conroy’s corner.
Forfar, who’d had a couple of half chances, were gifted a big chance on 22 minutes when Kieran Freeman sold Peterhead keeper Josh Rae short with back pass, however, Rae got out quickly to save Jordan Allan’s low left-footed effort.
Both Boyd and Lyall Cameron passed up chances, before Peterhead’s first-half profligacy was punished on the stroke of the interval, with Bobby Barr’s looping header from Jack Mackenzie’s cross finding the top corner.
The Blue Toon came out for the second half with the bit between their teeth.
They would have been level within a minute, had Gary Irvine not managed a spectacular block to deny Boyd, throwing his body in front of the cross-goal effort to divert it wide.
It looked like the leveller was about to arrive on 66 minutes, with substitute Derek Lyle barely missing a tantalising cross to the back post. Boyd then had a shot blocked, with another sub, Alan Cook, unable to put the rebound on target effort.
Soon after a Cameron effort was deflected past the right post.
In the game’s dying embers, skipper Scott Brown would get another crack at levelling the match, his volley from 16 yards flying over the bar.