Will Knight felt it was an opportunity lost as Havant suffered a 19-10 defeat at London one south leaders CS Rugby 1863 on Saturday.
A couple of errors and some missed chances by the visitors saw the Stags to sneak home.
Knight admitted a number of things didn’t go for his team in a game played in horrible conditions.
‘It was disappointing in many ways,’ said the Havant head coach.
‘For 90 per cent of the game we were on the front foot and the better team.
‘We took the game to them but didn’t quite get the rub of the green.
‘Ultimately, our opponents showed why they top the table by taking every one of their opportunities.
‘When given the chances they ruthlessly put them away
‘That is something we didn’t do – with spilt balls and final passes going astray.
‘We were also compliant in giving them two soft scores.
‘Most people watching would feel the best team lost but that is the way it goes sometimes.’
Havant started well – putting the Stags on the back foot but it was the hosts who scored first.
When the visitors failed to control the ball at the back of a scrum in their own twenty-two, it was kicked through for a converted try.
Havant hit back to level the scores on 11 minutes with a fine individual effort from Scott Morris.
Picking the ball up on halfway, the centre smashed his way through to score under the posts. Joel Knight added the conversion.
The Stags regained the lead before the break as Havant put themselves under pressure by misfielding a long clearance kick.
Joel Knight kicked a penalty to leave Havant trailing 14-10 at half-time.
Will Knight added: ‘We felt turning around – with the wind at our backs – we could do the job. The second half was incredibly tight but, frustratingly, a number of decisions went against us.
‘There were a sequence of high tackles that weren’t given and in a game so close those penalties can make all the difference.
‘In the end that wasn’t the reason we lost but it made it that bit more difficult.’
On 76 minutes, Havant had Richie Janes yellow-carded.
And CS Rugby finished the game off with a catch-and-drive try to make the final score 19-10.
‘We have to make sure we get everything we can from our remaining games,’ said Will Knight.
‘If we do that and our rivals slip up it might just open the door to the play-offs.We just need others to help us out.
‘This time last season we were second – only to be pipped at the post at the death.
‘So we know from experience it is still possible to sneak into the play-offs.’