Peterhead manager Jim McInally says their 2-0 defeat to Queen’s Park is a reality check for his squad.
The Blue Toon squad slipped to second in League Two after a goal in each half from Ciaran Summers gave the Spiders the points and Edinburgh City’s 2-1 win over Albion Rovers saw the capital club move two points ahead at the summit.
The Hampden side had Dominic McLaren sent off late on, but it mattered little as they held on to beat the men from Buchan.
Balmoor boss McInally said: “Of course this is a wake-up call. We had too many players not at it and you can’t afford that when you’re playing a young, athletic team.
“This was a wake-up call and it better be taken on board by the players.
“It is frustrating that we are back behind Edinburgh City and we just need to start again.
“It’s a pity we’re not playing them next week, but they are in the Irn-Bru Cup. That would have been ideal for us, but we haven’t got a game. We’ve been on a good run and it hurt after Saturday to lose because we haven’t been used to losing and it’s not a habit we want to get into.”
McInally felt a poor first-half display cost Peterhead at the national stadium.
He added: “It was a day when we were nowhere near good enough in the first half. They weren’t great either but they played in a way which suited the pitch.
“They were direct, turned us and hit channels. I felt we tried to dress everything up, playing in nice pretty patterns and playing out from the back. Then when it did go we couldn’t get near the front players. They were hungry and in our faces. But we have lost two goals that are crosses. The first is a free-kick that went across, was missed by everyone and went in.
“The second one was a cross from the left wing which was mis-kicked and went in the top corner. When you’re not playing well the last thing you need is to concede goals like that.
“The second half was a lot better and we missed a few chances. We needed to score one and if we had we would have been back in the game.
“The first half cost us dearly because should have played a more direct game and matched them. Whereas, we tried to overplay a bit and they weren’t up for letting us do that.”