Peter Grant reckons Dunfermline’s failure to show their ‘dirty side’ and ‘get hurt’ in the dying embers cost the Pars victory against Raith Rovers.
The hosts were tantalisingly close to their maiden Championship triumph of the season following Dom Thomas’ sensational second-half opener at East End Park.
However, as the clock ticked down and nerves set in, Dunfermline visibly ceded territory and defended deeper.
That culminated in Brad Spencer latching on to a loose ball on the edge of the box and — with the Pars slow to clear their area — lashing home the leveller.
And Grant reckons they were the architects of their own downfall.
“I don’t know whether to be angry, sad or frustrated,” said Grant. “I thought we were in control of the game.
“But yet again, there were things that we talk about every day in terms of clearing our box — but when the ball was at the edge of the area we didn’t get out.
“You need to go and press the ball, close down the shot and take a sore one. You need to take one for the team. Those moments cost you.
“I think I’ve got good enough players who know that they need to get out and get hurt at moment like that; taking one on the chin or the face or the belly — whatever.
“You need those guts to succeed. Football is not pretty all the time. You need to show that dirty side and that’s why I’m frustrated.
“The players had put so much into getting three points and it was snatched away — and I think it was our own fault.”
Allied with Thomas’ memorable goal, Tuesday’s showdown with Rovers was arguably Ryan Dow’s brightest display since returning from a serious achilles injury earlier this season.
And Grant felt that his dangerous duo could have sealed a precious three points if they had been given the supply.
“The two wide players [Dow and Thomas] were exceptional, especially in the first half,” he continued. “They got into really good areas and I thought we should have fed them more.
“But we went back or square a couple of times when we should have gone forward. Those were moments we could have killed the game because we had players forward.
“That is crucial because a one-goal lead is always dangerous.”
Reflecting on Thomas’ moment of magic which, for long periods, looked like it would prove decisive, Grant added: “Dom is a match-winner and he always has been.
“We are getting the things we have asked from him — he has worked really hard and I think he’ll see that he is getting his rewards.
“He is working so hard for the team; he is leading it with his endeavour and commitment, let alone his talent.”