Dean Saunders pinpointed fatigue as one of the reasons for a 3-0 defeat at Chesterfield that leaves Crawley Town anchored to the foot of Sky Bet League 1.A brace from Eoin Doyle, either side of a Jay O'Shea strike, lifted the Spireites into the top six and leaves Crawley without a victory since October 21.
Any chance they had of ending that desperate run evaporated once Doyle had latched on to Armand Gnanduillet's flick in the 34th minute as he held off two defenders before firing into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
It was Doyle's 23rd of the season and the Irishman released O'Shea in the 51st minute to curl a left-foot shot from the edge of the box past Lewis Price.
A defensive slip allowed Doyle to slip in his second, and although Crawley never gave up, they were well beaten on the night - as Saunders accepted.
He said: "We were beaten by a better team, we couldn't cope with the two strikers and the goals were bad ones from my point of view.
"We had some passages of play which were probably the best since I've been here and I have to take the positives out of the performance, but I think looking at the two teams, we had some players who had to play two games in three days and struggled for various reasons.
"I think physically they looked fitter and stronger than us. But I have to pick the positives, keep playing and building until we get a result and hopefully the belief comes back."