Will Knight bemoaned a lack of spark as Havant suffered a 28-19 derby defeat against Chichester in London one south at Hooks Lane.
It brought an end to the good run of four successive home wins.
Having beaten top three sides Camberley and Brighton it was disappointing to lose against a team below them in the league.
The win also saw Chichester complete a league double over their hosts.
The Havant head coach felt his team were second best and could have few complaints.
He said: ‘In many ways it is probably our worst performance of the season so far.
‘We were very flat and never really got going.
‘There was a lack of spark and energy and Chichester obviously wanted it more than we did.
‘Those qualities never emerged all game.
‘You can't expect to win a derby playing like that.
‘We were still in it without playing well at half-time so felt we still had a chance.
‘It just never happened for us and we remained far too passive
‘Chichester won it fair and square.’
The Sussex visitors were quick out of the blocks driving into the home 22 twice in the opening four minutes.
On each occasion their outside half knocked over two well-constructed dropped goals to give them a 6-0 lead.
Though Gareth Davies hit back with a penalty Chichester soon added their first try of the afternoon.
After a series of pick and go's on the home line the forwards eventually piled over.
Another Davies penalty reduced the arrears but the visitors stretched their lead with a second try.
Havant lost the ball at the breakdown inside their own twenty-two allowing Chichester to sweep in.
The first Havant try arrived on the half-hour when following some good phases winger James Wise scored in the corner.
A Chichester penalty gave them a 21-11 lead at the break.
Knight added: ‘We talked about what we needed to do at half-time.
‘For the first 10 minutes we didn't let Chichester out of their own half.’
Davies knocked over a penalty but Havant returned to their slumbers.
Despite having a player yellow carded the visitors drove over for another try.
By the time Havant scored a try through James Hewitt it was too little too late.
Knight felt disruption did not help the cause for the hosts.
He said: ‘We had to make changes left right and centre again right up to the wire.
‘That never helps but we won't use it as an excuse.
‘The team we put out was more than capable of winning the game.’