Dave Artell blamed “schoolboy defending” after his Crewe side lost 1-0 at in-form Accrington.
Colby Bishop scored the winner in the 59th minute as Stanley chalked up five league games without a loss.
Matt Butcher’s free-kick took a deflection and Will Jaaskelainen pulled off a superb one-handed save to keep the ball out of the top corner.
However, it bounced off the bar and down, with Bishop rushing in to head it over the line from close range.
“I felt we gifted them the goal,” said Artell. “It was an unbelievable save from Will but he won’t get the credit as it resulted in a goal.
“He tipped it on to the bar and then they had four running in while we had four players stood on the edge of the area pulling up their socks or something.
“It was schoolboy defending, you wouldn’t see that in under-16s football.
“We were on top either side of the half, we were the better team without scoring a goal, but once they scored, we never got going again.
“After the goal, there wasn’t the quality and it was disappointing. We can’t let one goal change the mindset and we will speak about it.
“We have got to not get agitated or worried when we go behind, we have got to stick to our beliefs and principles which were working before.”
John Coleman’s side have now kept five successive clean sheets in the league.
The Reds boss said: “It was a tough game, I have watched a lot of Crewe, they play a great brand of football – it’s quite open and they are prepared to take risks and we thought we could cash in on that and we did for the first 20 minutes.
“We had them pinned back and flashed a few balls across their goal and then they had a good 20-minute spell and we had to be at our best to keep them at bay.
“In the second half we stepped it up again and deservedly took the lead and could have had a couple more.
“Saying that, they had pressure and once again our lads defended magnificently.”
Bishop now has four goals for the season as the Reds close in on the play-off places with games in hand.
“I have never seen a save like the one their keeper pulled off before the goal, he was like Inspector Gadget, but then Colby couldn’t miss,” Coleman added.
“Colby was magnificent tonight, he led the line brilliantly, he deserved his goal and he could have had another couple.
“At the other end, it’s nearly nine hours without conceding a goal, it’s something to cling to but there is still a long way to go won’t get carried away.”