Assistant boss Jon McCarthy conceded Chester FC’s performance in the 2-1 reverse to Woking fell below the standard he and manager Steve Burr expect.
Goals from Dan Holman and John Goddard ended a six-game winless run for the Cards, who showed greater desire throughout to secured a deserved three points.
Chester did strike the woodwork twice through Calum Dyson and Ryan Higgins, but can have no real complaint about the result after a display lacking intensity and inspiration.
Ross Hannah pulled on back deep into stoppage time but his eighth goal of the season made the scoreline more respectable than it ought to have been.
McCarthy said afterwards: "We’re disappointed with the performance because we feel like we’d had a good week on the training ground, feel like we’ve done lots of stuff, we feel like we’ve got players fit, feel like we’ve got competition for places and we’ve had to make decisions over a team to put out and we’re putting them out and it’s not the level of performance we want.
"We’re really disappointed with the beginning in terms of how we set up and in terms of the intensity and desire to go and win the game so that’s disappointing. I know the players care and I know they’re bothered so when a performance comes like that where you get little bits from them, it’s hard to explain."
Chester remain 13th in the National League and welcome Dover Athletic to the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium on Tuesday (7.45pm).