Clive Allen said his reserve side paid the price for a below-par first half performance against Fulham on Monday night.
Fulham, second at start of play, were clinical in front of goal to secure a 3-0 win in the Barclays Premier Reserve League South at Leyton Orient.
Two goals in eight minutes paved the way for the Cottagers' success with Wayne Brown and Giles Barnes on target after 34 and 42 minutes. Keanu Marsh-Brown then wrapped it up in second half injury time.
We came closest via Ricardo Rocha's header that hit the upright just before half-time, Andros Townsend's volley saved just after the break and Jamie O'Hara's shot deflected inches wide towards the end of the match.
"We didn't reach the levels everyone knows we're capable of," reported development coach Clive. "Fulham showed quality in their finishing, took their chances and made us pay.
"I didn't think we really got going until the second half, which was too long and at whatever level you play at you need to do the 'ugly' things first and we didn't do that.
"We were better in the second half and had opportunities but I was far from happy with the first half performance.
"We came in 2-0 down at half-time and had to tell the players exactly how we felt. At least we were better in the second half."