Broadbridge Heath fought bravely but were undone by Lewes’ late extra-time winner in the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday night.
Ronnie Conlon grabbed the only goal of the game in the additional period after a tight 90 minutes.
Manager Steve Painter was not downhearted by the second-round exit, but proud of the way his side matched a side playing in a league above them.
He said: “I was pleased with the performance. I only ask one thing from the players, and that’s a high work-rate, and we carried it out well.
“We could have forced penalties, and they it would have become a lottery.”
Painter was pleased Heath were not overawed when coming up against higher level opposition, especially after last weekend’s loss against Peacehaven & Telscombe.
He said: “I was disappointed with the last game, but there was a massive turnaround in the way we played”.
“Sam (Chapman) watched Lewes play twice over the last few weeks, and we matched them, causing more problems than the teams he saw Lewes play.
“We made sure we used the ball, and the way we played really bodes well at this level.”
Painter also praised his players for the manner they responded, but was rueful over chances missed.
He added: “The back-four and goalkeeper especially were superb.
“Michael Chester made a string of quality saves at 0-0, but deep in to extra-time Tim Martin has a chance and could have buried it right at the end.
“We rode our luck at times, but I couldn’t be more proud.”
Heath face Hassocks away on Saturday, and Painter is optimistic.
He said: “We need more quality for a positive season, but I can’t help saying that I’m so proud of the boys, and this should hopefully bode well.”
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