Oran Kearney cut a frustrated figure at the final whistle of Saturday after watching his side put so much into the game but end up empty handed.
Coleraine slipped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Glenavon, but they should have come away with at least a point, if not more.
The Bannsiders created numerous good chances but were dinied by the woodwork and the in-form Johnny Tuffey.
The Lurgan Blues stopper also produced a fantastic save to deny James McLaughlin from the spot after Kris Lindsay was dismissed for handball.
Even in the dying minutes the hosts created several good opportunities and had another shout for a penalty waved away.
In the end though they were left empty handed and Glenavon increased the gap in the table.
“I don’t think third place is out of our reach,” Kearney told Times Sport afterwards.
“We have six games left and five of those are in the split against the teams around us, so anything could happen.
“It is hard to go on a run of games against the teams in the top six, but there will be lots of swings and turns to come yet.
“There’s no doubt today’s result puts a dent in it and it makes our battle for third tougher.
“But we have to play Glenavon again, which gives us the chance to close the gap, and then you’re hoping the other teams can do something also.
“However, we have to take points in the games we’re playing or it doesn’t matter how Glenavon do.
“I asked before the game for the players to go out and give it a real blast and I can’t fault them for that.
“They gave everything they had today and were so unlucky not to come away with something.
“We had a lot of good chances, the keeper has been in great form and we’ve hit the woodwork, it just looked like it was going to be one of those frustrating days.
“Then Glenavon get their goal and that makes it even worse. But we get ourselves back into it again with the penalty decision, it’s just disappointing we didn’t take it.
“James has been in football long enough to know that when you step up to take the glory you also risk the other side of it as well.
“He’s not the first person to miss a penalty and he’ll not be the last either.
“We’re just stuck at the minute because when we make mistakes we get punished.
“I’m not sure what Adam was trying to do with their goal, it’s unfortunate but these things happen.
“At the other end Conor Dillon sliced the ball back towards his own goal but Darren McCauley’s effort got a slight touch to go out for a corner.
“We played well today we didn’t make a lot of mistakes, but that one wee moment, just like last week, we get punished for it.”
Glenavon Assistant Manager Paul Miller was delighted to see his side take all three points.
“It’s a huge three points for us today,” he said.
“Coming down here we know Coleraine are just behind us in the league, and we have a load of injuries, suspension and two boys away on international duty, so we were down to the bare bones.
“So to come away with all three points against a very good Coleraine side is very pleasing for us.”
Coleraine now travel to Glentoran on Tuesday night in their last fixture before the league split.
“There’s still a lot of football to be played,” said Kearney.
“It would have been nice today to take the three points and close the gap on Glenavon and set up a real barnstorming finish.
“You could see that in the lads today, they wanted to go and do that, we just have to keep going.”