Crawley Town skipper Jimmy Smith knew the Portsmouth game was going to be one of the toughest of the season.
He believes Pompey played a good game, forcing Reds into defensive tactics.
Smith disagreed with the penalty decision which led to Portsmouth’s first goal.
He highlighted goalkeeper Glenn Morris’s second successive penalty save but admitted the goal scored from the ensuing corner was a major blow to Reds’ chances.
He said: “The first goal, with the timing of it, killed the hope of getting back into the game.
“I thought it was a soft penalty but those decisions are not in our hands.
“It’s another good save from Cat (goalkeeper Glenn Morris) but they put it in straight from the corner and it was bad timing.
“I don’t remember whose man it was - we have to stick to our jobs because everyone has markers.
“I knew it’s going to be one of those games. They are a good team, they keep the ball well.
“They want to get in little pockets and we wanted to make sure the ball was always in front of us as a team.
“We wanted to be disciplined but they scored a goal from a set-play and that killed us really.”
Smith stressed they could have got back into the game had James Collins’ late header gone in.
He said: “We did have chances and it is vital to take them because they change games.
“When they got the second goal we were always chasing.
“We have played two of the best teams in the last two games and I think we’ve done quite well.
“I feel we could have won the game against Doncaster, we knew this game was going to be tough as well and we move on to Barnet and hope to get the three points.”