JOHN Hughes felt that Hartlepool United outplayed Stevenage only to be undone by a familiar shortcoming.
In failing to score, Pools extended their barren patch to 12 hours in front of goal and were beaten when Max Ehmer capitalised upon some defensive indecision to fire home on 76 minutes.
Pools had shaded the share of the openings during what was a largely uninspiring affair short on quality.
Hughes, though, was pleased with the overall effort of his men, save for their bluntness in the final third.
“I thought we were unlucky to come away with nothing,” he said.
“We played some good football and created a few chances.
“Our football was better than them.
“We passed it through the midfield and got wide and got some good crosses in.
“But it’s the same, old story – we just can’t get the ball over that white line.”
Substitute Luke James came closest within seconds of his arrival, smashing inches wide with the game still goalless.
And Hughes went on: “I thought wee Luke might have cracked it late on when he came on.
“He did well and was a bit more direct.
“They had one shot on goal in the second half and scored from it.
“The lads were arguing about it after saying one of their players should have been closed down, but I thought it was a wee bit lucky.
“So overall I was bitterly disappointed because the lads put the effort and commitment into the match.
“There is a right way to get beat and I thought we did okay.”