Crawley boss John Gregory was left “bemused” as his side suffered their first defeat in seven league games at Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium.
A late Charlie Lee strike proved the difference in a tight game in Kent but Gregory believes his side did enough to return to Sussex with the three points.
“It’s difficult for me to get angry at my team after everything that we’ve done today. We should be standing here talking about a very good away victory.
“We’re somewhat bemused that we didn’t win the game. We need to pick ourselves up for Tuesday night (Shrewsbury Town).
“It was a travesty really (that Crawley didn’t get at least a point). Paul (Jones) had one save really that he had to make in the second half, which he did brilliantly with.”
The travelling Reds fans obtained their first glimpse of January signing Rory Fallon and Gregory admits he wanted to shake things up for the final 20 minutes: “He had 15 minutes or so at the end, he got into the game very quickly and we needed to get a bit more impetus so we brought Rory on.
“It was certainly a game we had total control in and opportunities to go away with a 3-0 or 4-0. We wanted to get something from the game to keep the run going.
“When the opposition got a couple of set pieces, you don’t need to be particularly skilful to cause us problems by putting it in the penalty box.”