Dundalk manager Shane Keegan has warned Dundalk that they simply cannot afford slip-ups like their home defeat to Finn harps if they are to challenge at the top end of the table this year.
Ollie Horgan's men plundered a surprise victory at Oriel Park on Friday night after an Adam Foley brace earned them a 2-1 win.
The Lilywhites huffed and puffed but ultimately they paid for a sloppiness that leaves them with just one point after two games.
"The overriding feeling among everybody, players and staff, is that it just wasn't good enough," Keegan told RTÉ Sport.
"We'd been well on top. Twenty-five minutes into it Ollie was roaring at his players to try and get into the game, it had been absolutely all us.
"But let's be honest, we hadn't created a huge amount despite all of that possession.
"Then you go and get sucker-punched, we allowed that to happen. We came with a different approach in the second half, there was a lot more energy to us, there was certainly a lot more invention in the final third.
"On another day, without a shadow of a doubt Pat Hoban finishes that game with a hat-trick.
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"He got one, he had another that came off the post, he had another where Mark McGinley made an outstanding save, I don't how he did it. All of that sounds like excuses. To a certain extent all of that is excuses. You just can't justify the result. We need to win games like that.
"Quite a few of our signings for one reason or another, be it injury or international duty, haven't been available to us. I'm throwing out reasons but they are genuine reasons.
"If we had a lot of those players it would have given us even more attacking impetus. But at the same time there's no getting away from it, the players we put out on the field were 100% good enough to win that game. They haven't done so."
Horgan meanwhile was left to toast a second win on the bounce as Harps continued their strong start to the campaign.
"We deserved something from it," he said. "We've come here other years where nothing fell our way and we ended up with moral victories, which aren't worth a jot. We got a great result here last year which ultimately kept us in the division, and we got a great result here tonight, there's no point in saying it wasn't.
"But we move on and we move on quickly. Six points won't keep us in this division."