Chesterfield manager Paul Cook felt his side failed to react to the dismissal of Peterborough United's Joe Newell after the Spireites lost 3-1 at Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final.
Newell was sent off by referee Andy D'Urso for kicking out at Chesterfield's Sam Morsy midway through the second half and Cook felt the red card changed the dynamics of the game, with his side well on top at the time, but trailing 2-1.
"I felt we dropped off our pace when they went down to 10 men. It affected us more than it did them," the 47-year-old former Accrington Stanley boss said in his post-match press conference.
"I felt when they scored their second in the 38th minute we were totally in the ascendancy. We missed a couple of great chances and we put the ball in good areas.
"But when it got to 2-1 I really felt we could win the game. We were playing well. We were vibrant. We know we have good fitness levels and we knew we had substitutes available that could win us the game.
"When the sending off came, we stopped moving the ball quickly and we weren't as penetrative as we wanted to be.
"The lad [Joe Newell] has had a kick but, although I don't really want to get involved because it's not my player, I don't really think it's a sending off.
"Peterborough counter-attacked us quite well at that stage - a couple of strong breakaways. You've got to respect Peterborough. They're a very good side with some very good players."
Cook's men found themselves behind as early as the seventh minute, with Bournemouth loanee Josh McQuoid scoring his first goal in a Posh shirt.
And, despite controlling the game, the Spireites conceded again just before the break with Shaun Brisley heading in powerfully from a corner.
Eoin Doyle reduced the deficit in the 53rd minute with a low finish after good work from midfield workhorse Sam Morsy but Newell then received his marching orders, and Peterborough went on to triumph 3-1.
Chesterfield's focus will now return to their Sky Bet League 2 promotion push - they currently sit third, four points adrift of leaders Rochdale, but five ahead of fourth-placed Fleetwood Town with just six games to go.
And, with their good league standing in mind, Cook is desperate not to return to the national stadium this term.
"We're in a strong position in the league so if we were to be in the Play-Offs it would be a disappointment.
"We feel we've got a very strong squad with a good mentality towards football, so we want to be in the automatic promotion places."
For all the latest news on Chesterfield please click here