GRAHAM Alexander admitted Chesterfield’s back-to-back blows just before the break felt like punches to the stomach.
Fleetwood had dominated the first half at Highbury, without finding the net before The Spireites scored two in two minutes to take a 2-0 lead into the interval.
And Alexander was distraught at the collapse. He said: “It was devastating going in at half-time because apart from two minutes at the start of the game and two minutes at the end of the half, we dominated it and created so many opportunities.
“We were two minutes away from saying. ‘Fantastic lads, keep it up’. It’s a punch in the guts. It’s two goals that are poor from us. That’s poor decision-making and goals given away, and those are the harsh lessons of professional football.
“You can play as well as you like, if you don’t take your chances and you give away poor goals and you’re going to get beaten.
Fleetwood played some of their best football of the season in the opening 40 minutes, Jamille Matt, Gareth Evans and Ryan Crowther all coming close.
Bu Alexander was left to rue missed chances. He said: “I was so pleased with how we’d played in the first half. We were dynamic, we had width we had incisive play and plenty of opportunities.
“We could easily have been two or three up and walked in with that fully justified. But we didn’t take the chances and two sucker-punches have killed us.
“Even at half-time I thought we were still in it. If we got a goal then we could dominate. But we gave a poor goal away and it’s difficult from there. We did create chances and Andy Mangan’s scored a good goal.
“If we had been as clinical as that over 90 minutes we could have won quite handsomely.”
Alexander insisted individuals must take responsibility for the goals which cost Fleetwood three points and saw them drift towards mid-table.
“If you’re going to wander off your man and give away a free header, you’re killing yourself, killing your team.”