Dick Campbell was “shattered” after his Forfar Athletic side fell from first to third following a 1-0 defeat to Peterhead on Saturday.
Jamie Redman nodded home a corner in the 36th minute and despite Martyn Fotheringham and Stephen Husband going close, the Loons left Balmoor Stadium with nothing.
Campbell said: “It was always going to be a tight game, and I’ve no doubt that Peterhead deserved to win the game.
“I couldn’t see that coming to be honest, we’ve won six out of seven and beat every team around us. We were slack, never got going at all, we never completed the basics that we’re good at.
“I don’t think we created a chance to be perfectly honest with you and I thought Peterhead deserved to win the game. I don’t think we played well enough at all and that must be down to Peterhead or down to a lack of effort but the situation now is that we’ve got two games to go.
“I’m shattered at that result, because I was confident.”
Campbell fielded the same side that defeated Airdrieonians last week.
Gavin Swankie saw a shot from the edge of the box curl into Graeme Smith’s arms, although the keeper spilled it but was able to gather the loose ball before Chris Templeman was able to reach it.
Brown then saw a header go into Rab Douglas’ arms from inside the six yard box, Riley swinging the ball in.
In the 33rd minute Brown had a fantastic chance to put Peterhead in front when he found himself past defenders with only Douglas to beat, the big keeper making a great stop to deny the midfielder.
Three minutes later they were ahead, winning a corner after some poor defending.
Captain Steven Noble found Redman with the set piece and his free header evaded Douglas.
Forfar almost grabbed an equaliser two minutes before half time as Templeman’s ball in the box found Derek Young, but his shot was blocked and the rebound was held.
Martyn Fotheringham saw a free kick fly inches past Smith’s post after the break before Stephen Husband drew a terrific save from Smith.
Peterhead: G Smith, R Smith, Noble, Strachan, Ross, McDonald, Riley (Cowie 64), Redman, McAllister (Cox 77), Brown, Rodgers (Dzierawski 69)
Forfar Athletic: Douglas, Dunlop, Campbell, Travis, Dods, Young (Denholm 46), Kader (Malin 71), Fotheringham, Templeman (Husband 71), Swankie, Hilson.
The club is organising a supporters’ coach to Dunfermline, leaving the Myre Car Park at 1 p.m and returning at full time.
The cost is £7 and can be booked by phoning 07871165689 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org