Stenhousemuir boss Brown Ferguson watched his side get knocked out of the Scottish Cup at East Kilbride on Saturday - and then insisted that the real damage was done the week before.
Two Jack Smith goals gave the Lowland League a 2-1 extra-time replay victory over the Warriors a K Park.
But the Stenny boss - Ladbrokes League 1 Manager of the Month for November - said his players paid the price for not doing the business required in the first match at Ochilview the week before.
He said: “You look for a home draw in the cup and the most disappointing thing for me is that we didn’t take advantage of that opportunity.
“We didn’t approach the game in the proper manner and that allowed East Kilbride to take us back.
“The conditions on Saturday were an absolute leveller and it was difficult for either side to get any structure or pattern to their play.
“I can’t be too critical of the effort the players put in on Saturday and there was nothing in the game, but for me it was all as a result of our performance in the first game.”
Stenny now have to put the end of a potential cup run behind them and concentrate on League One business, starting on Saturday when they entertain Albion Rovers at Ochilview.
And the have the incentive of knowing that a victory will see them leapfrog the Coatbridge side and move into third place in the table behind Dunfermline Athletic and Ayr United.
Ferguson said: “I’s all about the reaction we get from the players now.
“It’s a game that I am looking forward to because our performances in the games leading up to the cup tie were very very good.
“Albion Rovers are a good side and beat us earlier in the season but if we can focus on our performance and implement the right game we can look to get back to playing the way we were.”