Disappointed Chester FC manager Jon McCarthy admitted his team lacked spark in their late 1-0 home loss to Eastleigh.
A poor match was heading for a stalemate until Scott Wilson bundled home from a 90th-minute corner.
McCarthy felt the Blues were worthy of a point after negating the threat of a big-spending if under-performing Spitfires side.
But he accepted they did not do enough to earn their first home victory since December.
McCarthy said: "Tactically it was a very evenly balanced game, we didn't concede hardly any chances against them, so some of the organisation and some of the stuff we set up to make it difficult for them, we got very right.
"But the spark and those moments from people (wasn't there) and we didn't create enough chances.
"So we got most of it right and we fall to a sucker punch right at the end.
"I'm very disappointed as it's game I didn't expect to lose. I thought we'd able to win it and we had the platform to go and win it."
It was Chester's third straight loss and the sixth in their last seven matches.
They welcome FA Trophy finalists Macclesfeld Town to the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium on Tuesday (7.45pm).
And McCarthy continued: "We're working and we're trying to win games of football.
"There's a lot we're getting right in terms of organisation and shape, which we have done all season, and we did again today, but it's just a set-piece we concede from.
"But we don't make excuses. I haven't got something right in terms of motivation. I have to look at that and see what I need to do.
"That's all we lacked, that little bit of sparkle, and that's what we're after every time we play.
"So what Tranmere automatically brings us two weeks before, I expect it to happen every game when there's a smaller crowd, when it's a little bit grey, and when it's a little bit wet and windy.
"The players will have to be at that level to go and make it happen and I have to be at that level to get that from my squad of players all the time."