BOSS Neil McDonald admitted Carlisle played right into Luke Beckett's hands - or to be more accurate, feet! - as they took another step on the League I learning curve.
"We're being taught a harsh lesson at the moment," said the man who took up his first manager's post in the summer.
"The club have stepped up a league and we're being punished for taking some wrong decisions."
Referring to the misplaced ball by Simon Hackney which let in Beckett for his first on 21 minutes, McDonald said: "We try to do things the right way and encourage passing football.
"Simon took a wrong choice in trying to play that particular pass, and fair play to Luke Beckett, give him a chance like that and he normally sticks it in the net, which he did.
"Simon could have let his head go down, but he stuck at it and he got us back into it with a great goal (on 43 minutes)."
McDonald's men were two behind by that time, after Beckett slotted his second of the game, and sixth of the season, from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute.
The spot kick was awarded for handball by Peter Murphy, and McDonald said: "It was very close.
"Put it this way, I'd have been happy to get one like that."
On his side's brighter second half display, the Brunton Park chief said: "It was far better, but it's no good playing like that for 45 minutes.
"It has to be for the full 90, and until we start doing that, we won't get the wins we're after.
"We had two good chances near the end, but we're just not sticking them in like our opponents are doing."
McDonald, whose side included ex-Town players in Kevin Gray and Chris Billy, has been a close mate of Town boss Peter Jackson since the pair played together at Newcastle in the Eighties.
And he insisted that friendship won't be tested after Saturday's result!
"As a coach (at Bolton and Crystal Palace) , I always went for a chat with the opposition management after a game and that hasn't changed," he said.
"Peter and I speak two or three times a week and having been in the managerial game longer, he's given me some very useful advice."