Jon McCarthy had no complaints after Chester FC 's superb nine-game unbeaten run in the Vanarama National League was ended by an impressive Lincoln City outfit.
The suspension and injury-hit Blues twice went in front in the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium clash between two of the division's form teams.
But, inspired by the magnificent Matt Rhead, the second-placed Imps equalised in first-half injury-time and scored again three minutes after the restart before notching two further goals late on to run out 5-2 winners.
McCarthy, with some justification, felt the final scoreline was harsh on Chester and remained proud of his players' efforts.
The Blues boss admitted, however, that the 'naivety' they displayed against 'stronger' and 'more experienced' opponents proved costly.
"The National League is a tough league and you will have a couple of teams like Lincoln who will do very well in it," said McCarthy.
"And they're the best at it. Rhead is the best hold-up striker in the league and they just had that bit more experience.
"We felt we have a shape and a system which is similar to what Lincoln are tying to play but they have that bit more strength and experience.
"But we wanted to try and match them for that and show the freedom and brightness that our players up front have. At times in the game we showed that.
"But over the whole game they were stronger and a little bit more experienced and we were a little naive in some situations in key moments in the game, just before half-time and just after half-time. That's ultimately cost us.
"But I'm proud of them and the run they've been on. Yes, we're disappointed, but in the context of one league defeat in 10, which has come against a very good team, we'll deal with that, we'll look to learn from it, and we'll move on."