Worcestershire assistant coach Matt Mason praised Derbyshire centurions Billy Godleman and Wayne Madsen but felt the outcome may have been different had an early lbw decision gone their way.
Derbyshire were 13-2 in the Specsavers County Championship clash at the 3aaa County Ground when Madsen survived a confident shout for leg before before he had scored.
He went onto share in a partnership of 251 in 75 overs with Godleman. By the close Derbyshire had moved onto 319-3 from 96 overs.
Mason told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "You have days like that sometimes. It did look pretty bright at 13-2 and then a big appeal and a very close decision we thought with Madsen.
"We felt we were very unlucky with that one and it would have been a very different looking morning.
"It would have been 13-3 with all the momentum with us.
"But to be fair to them, they (Madsen and Godleman) played fantastic cricket and put on a big partnership and probably took the honours on the day at the end."
After the loss of the first day, Mason said the County felt their best chance of winning was to try and dismiss Derbyshire today after skipper Daryl Mitchell opted to bowl.
He said: "It did look a good wicket and if it had been the start of four full days, we would probably have batted on it.
"But we felt to be really positive and try and win the game, the best chance was to try and bowl them out cheaply on the first day and hopefully only have to bat the once.
"It didn't quite work. It started like a good idea but didn't finish that way but sometimes these things happen and the opposition are entitled to play well and they did do that.
"It's a good wicket. There is not a lot of pace in it and you have to be patient.
"We probably took our foot off the gas a bit in that first hour after lunch, a poor hour with the ball where we lost the momentum and they scored 60 odd off 10 overs, but apart from that I thought the boys fought hard all day.
"In the final session, we tried really hard. It was a much better session but again I think they've shaded the day with those two big hundreds."
Godleman, who finished unbeaten on 157, survived one chance on 62 to Ross Whiteley at point off Matt Henry.
Mason said: "You've got to take those chances when they come along and unfortunately it didn't stick.
"We will probably have a look back on the day and think where did it go wrong but ultimately we have to take the hat off to the two batsman.
"Apart from that one chance we didn't really create too many others and they batted really, really well."
Mason is looking for the County's attack to hit back strongly on the third morning.
He said: "We have to try and hit our straps early, get a couple of wickets. The ball is still pretty new and it might zip around in the morning.
"We have to try and make early inroads and we see where we go from there."