Crawley caretaker manager Craig Brewster admitted his promotion-chasing team let their supporters down after they tumbled to a shock 3-0 home defeat against relegation-threatened Hereford.
Two second-half goals from substitute Yoann Arquin, following a 54th-minute opener from Joe Colbeck, condemned Crawley to their first defeat in 14 games. But the Red Devils can still clinch the third and final automatic promotion spot with victory over Accrington next Saturday and Brewster is demanding a much-improved display.
He confessed: "Our fans turned up expecting a good result and we let them down a bit. It was never 3-0 but the real disappointment for us was the calamity that was the first two goals that we conceded. We didn't deliver. We were slack and a bit sloppy against a side who are fighting for their lives. We had a few chances but could not put the ball in the net."
Crewe's late equaliser at Torquay means third-placed Crawley stay above the Gulls on goal difference, with Southend only a point behind and also in with a chance.
This was Brewster's first defeat in five games since taking over the reins from Steve Evans and the 45-year-old Scotsman has pledged his side will go flat out for victory at Accrington.
He added: "We have to win. A draw is not good enough. A lot of teams would love to be in our position. We went in thinking it would just happen and it didn't. Good players respond and we will see how they respond. If we get a performance next week a win would take us up."