John Gregory was again left to rue missed chances as his Crawley Town side went down 2-1 at Port Vale on Tuesday night - the side’s fourth straight League One defeat.
Vale came from behind after Billy Clarke’s first-half penalty with a fine equaliser from Billy Knott before Reds goalkeeper Paul Jones allowed a powerful Doug Loft strike to slip under his body for an 84th minute winner.
Reds missed numerous chances throughout the match and though boss Gregory praised his side’s performance he was again left lamenting a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.
Gregory said: “It was a brilliant performance, that’s probably the best we’ve ever played since I’ve been here and it’s just not taking chances in front of goal.
“I’ve become a bit like an old grammar phone in the last couple of days. But there were chances to have won that came by half-time, clear cut chances.
“I’m getting a bit fed up repeating myself week after week. It’s rather difficult standing here trying to explain how we’ve lost the game 2-1, but we have, that’s the harsh reality of it.
“Football can be very cruel to you, you don’t always have to play well to win matches and certainly Port Vale must feel very fortunate that they’ve got a point, let alone three.”
This was Crawley’s 12th game in 40 days and Gregory pointed to some of the Port Vales telling him “we’re the best team that’s come here all season, the best footballing side” as evidence of how well they were still performing.
He said: “But we won’t change, I certainly want my boys to continue playing that way. If we can just get that ruthlessness in front of goal. You saw the chances we had, and we certainly can’t afford to miss opportunities like that to have won the game.
And pointing to one of a number of good chances which saw Clarke fail to convert when through one-on-one with Crawley 1-0 up, he added: “That one will haunt him, and it will certainly haunt me for a few more days.”