Australia reached the close on 114 without loss in their second innings, needing just 56 more runs after England lost their last five wickets for 40.
Moeen was among those to fall, stumped after the tightest of third-umpire rulings amid mutterings about a bulge in the hand-painted popping crease counting against him, although in truth England were already in plenty of trouble by then.
“Once you’re given out you have to respect that and move on,” Moeen said on BT Sport. “I’m more disappointed with myself. I got in and then got out. These things happen in cricket but you have to respect the umpire.”
Moeen was out for 40, one of a number of players who played themselves in but could not go on to get a big score as captain Joe Root was out for 51, Jonny Bairstow made 42 and Mark Stoneman 27.
“I think a few of us got in and had to go on and score a big 100, one of the top six or seven had to build an innings and play a bit more to the situation, probably a bit more aggressive,” Moeen said.
“We never got that big score we needed to have a good lead against Australia.”
Nathan Lyon took three for 67 for Australia, showing how effective a spinner could be on this pitch, but Moeen was restricted to just four overs in Australia’s second innings due to a cut on his index finger - adding to his frustrating day.
“I split it in the first innings quite badly,” he said. “It’s part of being a spinner, but no excuses, I didn’t bowl that well today. Obviously it was a difficult day to bowl. It’s more mental than anything, trying to grip the ball never feels the same but it’s part of being a spinner.”
Defeat appears certain for England, but Moeen said it was still important for them to take some wickets on the fifth day.
“Tomorrow, if we can get a few wickets, it might not mean much, but if we can get those wickets it would be good for our confidence.”