Pete Haynes declared himself proud of the efforts of his players after they were knocked out by the smallest of margins in a penalty shootout against Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup third round.
The under-18s boss saw his team take category one academy side Arsenal all the way to spot kicks after a entertaining goalless draw saw neither side find a breakthrough in 120 minutes of football.
Played on a blustery and wet night at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, it was the Gunners who eventually triumphed, winning 4-2 on penalties to set up a fourth round tie with Southampton.
But despite falling at the final hurdle Haynes was quick to declare his pride when it came to his young team's performance.
"I think the emotions are summed up by the players at the end of the game before the staff have said anything," he said.
"The first thing the lads have said is 'lads put a smile on your face - you should be proud of yourselves'.
"I think that's the overriding feeling. The players have represented the club superbly both in round one and two but especially tonight.
"It is a great reflection on the club and the hard work that's going on across the academy. The players tonight with that hard work were a reflection of everything that's going on.
"Ultimately we're very proud. It's a great platform for them now to go on and be successful. It's proof that hard work and determination is key so I'm very proud of that group of players."
Watch a full interview with Haynes reflecting on the match above on iFollow.