Chester FC manager Marcus Bignot rued a massive opportunity missed as his relegation-threatened side threw away a two-goal lead in losing 3-2 late on at Dagenham & Redbridge for the second season running.
The Blues looked set to move within three points of safety after Jordan Archer and Matty Waters scored their second goals of the season.
But Chester were pegged back five minutes from the end of normal time when Fejiri Okenabirhie's second goal of the game was allowed to stand.
And worse was to follow three minutes later when Andy Halls headed into his own goal to hand the Daggers an unlikely victory that moved them within four points of the play-off places.
At the other end of the table the Blues remain six points behind fifth-from-bottom Barrow AFC, who also have the benefit of two games in hand.
But, taking heart from what was another fully committed performance, Bignot is refusing to give up the fight.
He said: "Up until 85 minutes no-one would have argued we were not worthy of the three points.
"To come from a goal behind, to show the character that we did, and to get ourselves in front at 2-1... it seemed that the fourth goal was going to come from us.
"So to concede an equaliser so late on - and one or two players weren't happy that the goal was allowed to stand - and then to lose it from that position you can imagine what kind of dressing room it is at this moment.
"But it's important we pick them up because there were a lot of positives today, which far outweigh the negatives, but obviously the scoreline is the biggest one, and it was a massive disappointment for us.
"Dagenham can still put out a canny team who have been there and done it, and know how to win football matches, and that's probably what we lack in terms of that game management and experience to see a game out.
"And it was a game we should have saw out. They got their fortune with the second goal. It was a contentious decision but from that point on we shouldn't have lost the game.
"I was really proud of the players' performance. They've given everything. Those last few minutes, they will learn from that, but unfortunately they are learning in a difficult situation with the position we are in.
"I think you can tell by the performances that it's not a team lacking confidence. We've gone about our business, been positive, and we've gone so close to a result.
"It would have been a massive three points as it would have clawed a lot of teams back into it."