Jack Lester says today's game was one his Chesterfield side should never have lost, having led 1-0 and then entered stoppage time at 1-1.
An error from Louis Reed put visitors Crawley on a late counter attack, however, before Lewis Young scored a great goal to make it two defeats in two at the Proact for Town.
The result saw the Spireites drop back down into the drop zone, but manager Lester insists there's still plenty of time to climb out of trouble.
Today, he felt his side lacked the necessary quality going forward.
"We didn't have the real quality going forward to see the game off," he said.
"Had we technically looked after the ball a bit error, had we kept it and moved it quickly we could have opened them up time and time again."
It was a see-saw game in which Louis Reed opened the scoring with a well struck volley on 18 minutes.
Crawley hit back in the second half through the impressive Karlan Grant, but a trio of replacements gave Town a second wind and they looked the likeliest winners late on before the suckerpunch.
"We felt if we got ourselves ahead we could go on and win it," said Lester.
"We did go ahead and we were pleased enough with the first half, they were causing us one or two problems but from that position at half-time we felt we'd go on and win the game.
"We were a little bit on the back foot and we spoke about going to get the second goal and that would see them off.
"But they scored quite a good individual goal and then they had about 10 minutes when I felt we were hanging on slightly.
"We injected some fresh legs and I felt we were on the front foot, there were corners and little chances, chances to go one on one with the full-back and we didn't quite capitalise on that.
"We should never have lost the game."
Slipping back into the bottom two is less than ideal for Lester, but he isn't panicking.
"You don't want to be in it, but there's 15 games left, there's loads of time, that's nearly a third of the season and it's all in our hands."
The manager says the squad will have to work hard this week, when a behind closed doors friendly will give players like Gozie Ugwu and Giles Coke some much needed match minutes.
But one player whose availability is now in doubt is Wigan loanee Andy Kellett.
Lester revealed that the 24-year-old injured his knee in training and missed training yesterday.
The seriousness of the injury is not yet known.