Gillingham manager Peter Taylor slammed a "below-par performance" from his side in the 3-1 defeat at home to struggling Crewe.
It took Chuks Aneke just five minutes to open the scoring for the Alex, although Amine Linganzi levelled for the hosts on the half-hour mark.
Aneke put Crewe back in front with his 16th goal of the season and Mathias Pogba wrapped up all three points for the visitors late on.
Gillingham had won five out of their previous six games at home but were outplayed by their opponents who claimed victory for the fourth time in as many games at Priestfield.
"Three points here would have seen us getting close to the line of survival," said Taylor.
"The players knew that, I knew that, I'm sure supporters knew that, but it wasn't to be. That was not a performance of the standards we've had. Too many players had a below-par performance.
"The reason we lost the match was because our performance wasn't good enough. It was a 'lacking energy'-type of performance, that's what I was disappointed with the most.
"We were happy playing long balls. We only started passing it better half way through the first half - I was expecting that at a second past three.
"I'm sure it happens all over the country - it makes football unpredictable."