Notts County boss Keith Curle was philosophical after a missed penalty and a sending off cost his side as they lost 2-1 to Stevenage who were thankful for a stoppage-time winner from Robin Shroot.
Stevenage replaced County in second place in npower League One after they came from behind to beat their hosts in a topsy-turvy game at Meadow Lane.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce put the home side ahead from the spot after his team-mate and regular penalty taker Jeff Hughes had earlier fluffed his lines from 12 yards.
However, Stevenage deservedly scored a penalty themselves when Lucas Akins finished after Alan Sheehan had handled and received his marching orders to leave County with 10 men for the remaining seven minutes.
It was down to substitute Shroot to make sure Stevenage took all three points with a dramatic injury-time winner.
Curle felt the away side had come to Meadow Lane with a game plan to get a point and said to be beaten in that manner must be used as a learning curve.
He said: "Stevenage came with a game plan to come here and frustrate from minute one. "I think, in their own minds, if they were to get a point they would've been more than happy, but they have nicked all three.
"Of course it's disappointing. I think overall we have played well and if we score both the penalties I think we would have gone on to win."
Stevenage manager Gary Smith had nothing but praise for his battling team who remain unbeaten in League One this season. He said: "This is a tough place to come, so to get away from here with all three points is a great achievement.
"The boys have had to battle hard for 90-plus minutes and have absolutely worked their socks off and I think for that we deserved to nick one late on."