Brown Ferguson pointed at an “inability to do the basics well” after Stenhousemuir’s 4-0 home defeat to league leaders Livingston on Tuesday.
The Warriors were brought back down to earth with a bump - following their remarkable 5-0 win at Airdrie in their previous outing.
Ferguson said he felt his side competed well in the first half, despite falling behind on 16 minutes when Ciaran Summers’ headed Livi keeper Liam Kelly’s long ball over his own keeper’s head and into a gaping net.
But after the break Livingston took control. Raffaele De Vita doubled Livi’s advantage on 70 minutes after good work from Josh Mullin down the right. He drove to the byline before drilling into the striker’s path, leaving him to tap in from five yards.
Jackson Longridge whipped in a cross for substitute Buchanan to power home from the penalty spot on 80 minutes to kill any fading Stenny hope.
And the final nail was sunk into the Stenny coffin two minutes into stoppage time when Dale Carrick slotted into the bottom corner after good work down the left from substitute Nicky Cadden.
Ferguson said: “I was reasonably pleased with our first half performance and I felt second half we competed. But we never passed the ball well enough in the second half, and we never did the basics well enough in the second half.
“I think we played a team that showed us how to go and win games. For us it is a very sore, sore scoreline.”
“I don’t think anybody here would have thought it was going to be a 4-0 scoreline when you were sitting after 65 minutes, but it is ultimately which is disappointing.”
However, given the hectic run of the game they are in the midst of, Stenny have no time to feel sorry for themselves as they seek to climb off the bottom of the table.
They face Albion Rovers at Ochilview on Saturday, followed by East Fife, also at home, next Tuesday, Peterhead away on Boxing Day and Alloa at home on Hogmanay.
Ferguson said: “Going into the last two games - it’s the top two in the league. Given our position you would have probably accepted three points.”
“The run of games we have coming up now are going to be important and the performances have improved there is no two ways about it.”