Linfield manager David Healy has admitted that his team were punished in the Big Two derby on Tuesday after failing to do the same to Glentoran when their opportunities arose at Windsor Park.
The champions lost 1-0 to the Glens when Conor McMenamin's injury-time cross ended up in the net after Linfield's Jordan Stewart, Shayne Lavery and Joel Cooper all went close either side of the half-time break.
The Blues are still top but Coleraine, Cliftonville and Glentoran are closing in after midweek wins with long-time title contenders Larne and Crusaders very much in the mix.
"I'm gutted to lose in the manner we did. We put a lot into the game. I won't fault the players; they've been brilliant for me," said Healy, whose team host second-placed Larne tomorrow before a trip to Glentoran next week.
"We just got caught at the end with a poor goal to concede, which is disappointing, but on another night, fine margins go for you and maybe you go and win the game.
"We spoke to the players at half-time and said Glentoran improved in the second half the last time we played them and I think they improved greatly again and the game was more open.
"We were still pushing to try to win the game and we were in their final third a lot but gave up possession too easily. I still thought we did more than enough to get something out of the game. It was a sore one to take in the last minute.
"On another day, and that might be against Larne on Friday night or next Tuesday at The Oval, we may go and be more clinical and ruthless with the opportunities presented. We never punished them after the hard work and that's when you get punished."