Jim Bentley said his side “didn’t help themselves” as their four-game unbeaten run ended with defeat at Northampton on Saturday.
The Cobblers went top of the table with the 3-1 win with the Morecambe boss admitting the best side on the day won.
He did however lament a couple of key lapses in concentration from his side and missed chances late on that could have set up a grandstand finale at Sixfields.
Bentley said: “They deserved to win the game.
“On that evidence they are the best side in the division.
“We’d looked at things regarding their quick free-kicks, they’ve scored a couple like that this season, and you can’t switch off and we just did for that split second (for James Collins' opener on 29 minutes).
“Then you’re up against it playing top of the table and the crowd for them were excellent and got right behind them and drove them on.
“When you’re 2-0 down at half-time you’ve got a massive, uphill battle in the second half.
“We started great then we switched off at a corner which has been our Achilles heel this season.
“It’s an individual error, a one v one battle, and Rod McDonald, I know him well, he isn’t renowned for coming round the back post and bulleting them in the Football League.
“They kept going for the fourth goal which made it entertaining and we knew we could get in on the break.
“We had great chances and if you get it back to 3-2 it could be a different story but we come away with nothing to show for it.
“We’ve given it our all against the best side in the division but we haven’t helped ourselves today.
“We’re nearly there, that’s what’s frustrating, it just little things here and there.”