A poor spell at the start of the second half played an important role in Cheltenham suffering their first away defeat since August according to Michael Duff.
The Robins boss saw Perry Ng's low finish earn Crewe Alexandra all three points at The Alexandra Stadium.
It is the first time Cheltenham have lost in League Two since a last gasp defeat to Crawley Town in August, and Duff lamented two good wasted opportunites in the opening 45 minutes that could have seen his team break the deadlock.
"You've got to go 1-0 up in the first half we two great chances," Duff said.
"That changed the game. We never came out second half, waited to go 1-0 down - as soon as we went 1-0 down we dominated the game I thought.
"They are a good team and it's fine margins at the top end of the league. We just fell the wrong side of having a poor 20 minute spell.
"We slightly changed what we did today. We flattened the three midfielders out because they want to strip the middle of the pitch.
"I thought they did it well. We let them have the ball for quite long periods but they weren't ever hurting us. From that pressing position - the counter - which is why Alex (Addai) and Alfie (May) played for that counter threat I thought we showed we did it well.
"That 20 or 25 minute period basically until the goal went in we were banked in but we didn't try playing out of tight areas and then release, we just tossed it away."
See more from Duff's post-match interview by watching above on iFollow.
The next time the Robins are in action is on Tuesday 28 January with another away match at Bradford City.
Fans can visit the ticket office on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday between 10am and 3pm to purchase tickets and away travel for the trip to the Bantams.